Self Portrait Saluting (1865 – 1866) by Edgar Degas

Self Portrait Saluting - Edgar Degas - 1865 - 1866

Artwork Information

TitleSelf Portrait Saluting
ArtistEdgar Degas
Date1865 - 1866
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationCalouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, Portugal

About Self Portrait Saluting

The artwork “Self Portrait Saluting” is an oil on canvas painting by Edgar Degas, created in the years between 1865 and 1866. Degas, a renowned artist associated with the Impressionist movement, though often straying from its defining characteristics, executed this self-portrait, which now resides in the collection of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon, Portugal. This work falls within the genre of self-portraiture, an intimate exploration of the artist’s own visage.

In the artwork, Degas presents himself with a solemn and introspective visage. He is depicted against a backdrop that contrasts a deep, rich red hue with a lighter, atmospheric expanse of sky or cloud on the right side, possibly signaling the complex duality of his personal and professional life. Degas, dressed in formal attire, holds his hat in a gestural salute, an act which could imply respect or the acknowledgment of an unseen audience.

His countenance is marked by a somber expression with a sense of quiet confidence, and perhaps a touch of weariness. The black tones of his suit and the soft, muted colors of his trousers and gloves exhibit his careful attention to fabric and texture, while his tilted head and the position of his body, slightly turned away, lend a dynamic character to the composition. The surface of the canvas itself reflects the loose brushwork and interest in the effects of light that are characteristic of Impressionist painting, even though Degas’s approach to portraiture here remains rooted in a more traditional style.

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