Retiring (1883) by Edgar Degas

Retiring - Edgar Degas - 1883

Artwork Information

ArtistEdgar Degas
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationArt Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, US

About Retiring

Created by Edgar Degas in 1883, the artwork “Retiring” is a fine example of the Impressionist movement, employing pastel as its medium. This genre of the work is classified as a nude painting (nu). Currently, the artwork is housed at the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, IL, US.

The artwork presents a scene imbued with an intimate atmosphere. A nude female figure is depicted in the act of reaching toward a lamp with a decorative fringed shade. The subject appears to be either in the process of retiring for the night or resting at her boudoir. The setting is enriched with dim, warm lighting that casts soft shadows around the room and creates a sense of tranquility and privacy.

Notable features of the piece include the detailed patterning of the curtains in the background, which contrasts with the smooth, delicately rendered skin of the figure. The pastel medium allows for a fusion of colors with a subtle blending technique that softens the overall appearance of the scene. The composition suggests a spontaneous, candid moment captured by Degas, who is renowned for his skillful portrayal of figures and his exploration of light and form. This work aligns with the Impressionist emphasis on capturing the fleeting effects of light and mood, emphasizing everyday subjects portrayed with a sense of immediacy and sensory experience.

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