Self Portrait with Evariste de Valernes (c.1865) by Edgar Degas

Self Portrait with Evariste de Valernes - Edgar Degas - c.1865

Artwork Information

TitleSelf Portrait with Evariste de Valernes
ArtistEdgar Degas
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationMusée d'Orsay, Paris, France

About Self Portrait with Evariste de Valernes

The artwork “Self Portrait with Evariste de Valernes” is an oil on canvas painting by artist Edgar Degas dating from circa 1865. Created during the Impressionist movement, this self-portrait showcases Degas’s proficiency and his relationship with Evariste de Valernes. It is presently housed at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France.

This artwork presents two figures, positioned in close proximity, sharing a moment of quiet interaction. The figure to the left commands attention with a formal top hat, and his posture suggests a sense of contemplation or perhaps discourse. Beside him stands the second figure, thought to be Degas himself, whose gaze appears introspective, his hand raised gently to his face in a posture that could indicate reflection or a pause in conversation.

The muted tones and loose brushwork that characterize the painting are hallmarks of the Impressionist style, which often sought to capture fleeting moments and the play of light. The background seems to be a blurred cityscape, implying that this interaction is set against a wider urban environment, possibly Paris, where Degas spent much of his life. The atmospheric quality of the setting, with the figures emerging from the shadowy space, contributes to the sense of immediacy and intimacy that the painting conveys. In its execution, the artwork is not only a study of the individuals it depicts but also a testament to the innovative spirit of the Impressionist movement.

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