Portrait of Giulia Bellelli (sketch) (1859 – 1860) by Edgar Degas

Portrait of Giulia Bellelli (sketch) - Edgar Degas - 1859 - 1860

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of Giulia Bellelli (sketch)
ArtistEdgar Degas
Date1859 - 1860
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationDumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, DC, US

About Portrait of Giulia Bellelli (sketch)

The artwork “Portrait of Giulia Bellelli (sketch)” was originated by the esteemed artist Edgar Degas between the years 1859 and 1860. This oil on canvas portrays the nascent style of Impressionism that would later become synonymous with Degas’ oeuvre. As a genre, the piece is categorized as a sketch and study, capturing the essence of the subject with fluidity and immediacy. The artwork is part of the prestigious collection housed at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, located in Washington, DC, USA.

A closer examination of the artwork reveals the figure of a young girl in a state of poised tension. The subject is seated, her body turned slightly to the side, with her arms folded and resting on what appears to be the back of a wooden chair. Her attire features a dress with a full skirt that gathers around her waist and a ruffled collar, both highlighted with deft brushstrokes of blue over a warm, yellow-ochre background that suggests the contours of her form. Notably, the girl’s facial expression is rendered with meticulous care and attention, evoking a sense of introspection or contemplation. The juxtaposition of defined lines and soft, blended hues of blue and yellow capture the light and shadow, infusing the figure with a dynamic sense of presence. Degas’ signature can be seen, discreetly placed at the bottom right of the artwork, marking the completion of this intimate study.

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