Rest (c.1893) by Edgar Degas

Rest - Edgar Degas - c.1893

Artwork Information

ArtistEdgar Degas
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Rest

“Rest,” created circa 1893, is a pastel artwork by Edgar Degas, a prominent artist associated with the Impressionist movement. Characterized as a genre painting for depicting scenes of everyday life, this artwork exemplifies Degas’ keen interest in the human figure and his mastery of the pastel medium. Notably, “Rest” is housed within a private collection and is therefore not readily accessible to the public for viewing.

The artwork presents a woman in a state of repose, her posture suggesting a moment of peaceful relaxation or fatigue. She is seated, with her body oriented away from the viewer, her head resting in her hand, indicating a state of introspection or exhaustion. The composition is intimate and informal, capturing the essence of a private, unguarded moment.

The mastery of Degas in handling pastels is evident in the rich, textured layers that convey both the softness of the figure’s flesh and the material of her garments. His use of color is both vivid and nuanced—blues, purples, and greens dominate the scene, creating a cool, calming atmosphere that reinforces the sensation of rest. Degas’ strokes, varying in intensity and direction, add a dynamic quality to the otherwise still scene, imbuing the artwork with a sense of life and movement even within the stillness it portrays.

While the background details are minimalist, Degas’ keen attention to the play of light and shadow on the form of the reclining woman is clear. The loose, sketch-like quality of the artwork is characteristic of the Impressionist movement’s focus on capturing fleeting moments and the effects of light, rather than on precise, detailed representation. In summary, “Rest” is a evocative piece of art that conveys a profound sense of tranquility and is reflective of the innovative spirit of Impressionism.

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