Semiramis Building a City (1861) by Edgar Degas

Semiramis Building a City - Edgar Degas - 1861

Artwork Information

TitleSemiramis Building a City
ArtistEdgar Degas
Dimensions26 x 41 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Semiramis Building a City

The artwork titled “Semiramis Building a City” by Edgar Degas dates back to 1861 and is classified as a history painting. This piece is a representation within the Impressionism movement and measures 26 x 41 cm. Currently, it resides within a private collection, making it less accessible to the general public for viewing.

The artwork depicts a historical scene set against a sunset-drenched skyline. It portrays a group of figures that appear to be engaged in activities related to the building or governing of a city. The composition creates a sense of depth, with architectural structures receding into the distance, and a waterfront graced by small boats, suggesting a lively urban environment. The foreground features a blend of figures, including a woman who stands out at the ramparts, possibly intended to represent Semiramis herself, admiring the progress of her constructions. Meanwhile, others engage in various states of repose and conversation, while a man on a horse adds to the dynamic tableau of urban life. The use of color and light reflects the impressionist style, although the subject matter is more in line with traditional history painting. Edgar Degas, while mostly recognized for his later works focusing on ballet dancers and scenes of Parisian life, here captures a grand historical narrative in a small yet evocative format.

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