Rest on the bed (1876 – 1877) by Edgar Degas

Rest on the bed - Edgar Degas - 1876 - 1877

Artwork Information

TitleRest on the bed
ArtistEdgar Degas
Date1876 - 1877
Art MovementImpressionism

About Rest on the bed

The artwork “Rest on the bed,” created by Edgar Degas between 1876 and 1877, is an exemplar of the Impressionist movement. Degas, renowned for his vivid depiction of movement and his studies of human anatomy, classifies this work within the genre of sketch and study. This delicate piece reflects the aesthetic considerations of the time and provides insight into the artist’s creative process.

In the artwork, the viewer is presented with a sketch of a figure reclining on a bed. The pose of the figure suggests a casual, unguarded moment, as the subject appears to rest, with one arm supporting the head while the other rests along the body. The figure’s legs are sprawled comfortably, and the attire, although not distinct, implies informal dress or undress. The lines of the sketch are loose and gestural, capturing the essence of the figure’s form and the softness of the bedding without excessive detail.

Edgar Degas’ use of light and shadow gives depth to the scene, playing across the surfaces of the bed and the figure. The composition evokes the intimacy of the setting, allowing the viewer to sense the quietude of the repose. Dotting the artwork are spots and blotches that may have resulted either from the artistic process or from the aging of the materials used. As an Impressionist work, this sketch does not seek to deliver a polished finality but rather to convey the immediacy and fleeting nature of the captured moment.

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