Still Life with Lizard (1858 – 1860) by Edgar Degas

Still Life with Lizard - Edgar Degas - 1858 - 1860

Artwork Information

TitleStill Life with Lizard
ArtistEdgar Degas
Date1858 - 1860
Dimensions18 x 14 cm
Art MovementRealism

About Still Life with Lizard

The artwork titled “Still Life with Lizard” is an oil on paper creation by the artist Edgar Degas dating back to the period between 1858 and 1860. This piece is a representative work of the Realism art movement and measures 18 by 14 centimeters. It falls under the genre of still life, which is a category of art depicting inanimate subject matter, typically commonplace objects which may be either natural (like food, flowers, dead animals, plants, rocks, or shells) or man-made (like glasses, books, vases, jewelry, coins, pipes, and so on).

The artwork presents a modestly scaled scene that includes key components of a traditional still life composition. At the center of the work lies a deep brown-toned bowl placed on a muted surface that perhaps suggests a table or shelf. Adjacent to the bowl, there is a discernible form that may be interpreted as a piece of fruit or a bread roll, underscoring the theme of simplicity and the mundane. Completing the composition, there is an object that stands erect in the background, featuring a sinuous, serpent-like form—per the title, presumably a lizard—which provides a contrast to the rounded bowl and adds a layer of unique interest to the scene. The background is dominated by a subdued blue palette, which sets a calming yet somber tone to the piece. The choice of colors and the play of light and shadow suggest a sense of tranquility and introspection, consistent with the Realist dedication to capturing the truth of the ordinary world.

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