Portrait of Henri Michel-Levy in his studio (1878 – 1879) by Edgar Degas

Portrait of Henri Michel-Levy in his studio - Edgar Degas - 1878 - 1879

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of Henri Michel-Levy in his studio
ArtistEdgar Degas
Date1878 - 1879
Dimensions41 x 27 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationCalouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, Portugal

About Portrait of Henri Michel-Levy in his studio

The artwork “Portrait of Henri Michel-Levy in his studio” is an oil on canvas painting created by the artist Edgar Degas between 1878 and 1879. This piece is a quintessential example of the Impressionism movement, featuring a portrait genre. The artwork measures 41 by 27 centimeters and is presently housed in the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, located in Lisbon, Portugal.

The portrait depicts Henri Michel-Levy, an artist, in what appears to be his studio, surrounded by the accoutrements of a painter’s workspace. The central figure stands, leaning slightly against a wooden structure, possibly an easel, his gaze directed off-canvas, suggesting contemplation or a momentary distraction. He is dressed in attire that seems informal, characteristic of a creative individual in their private space; his attire consists of dark trousers and a loose-fitting white shirt.

In the foreground, a colorful palette with daubs of paint and paintbrushes hints at the act of painting itself, perhaps signifying the artist at work. Also visible is a mannequin dressed in pink, providing a striking contrast with its inanimate form against the living presence of Michel-Levy. To the left, an unfinished painting is partially visible, showing a glimpse of Degas’ approach to capturing an artist within their milieu. The artwork employs a loose, dynamic brushstroke that imbues it with energy, a hallmark of the Impressionist technique, which sought to capture the fleeting aspects of light and momentary experience.

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