Sulking (c.1870) by Edgar Degas

Sulking - Edgar Degas - c.1870

Artwork Information

ArtistEdgar Degas
Dimensions32.4 x 46.4 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationMetropolitan Museum of Art (Met), New York City, NY, US

About Sulking

The artwork titled “Sulking,” created by Edgar Degas circa 1870, is a unique example of Impressionist portraiture. The medium used is oil on canvas, and its dimensions are approximately 32.4 by 46.4 centimeters. Currently housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, this work exemplifies Degas’ contribution to the Impressionist movement, characterized by an emphasis on capturing the fleeting moments of daily life with often brisk brushstrokes and a vibrant depiction of light.

In the artwork, one observes an intimate domestic scene. A young woman is portrayed in a state of apparent emotional distress or contemplation, leaning her body against a table and resting her head on her hand. She looks out towards the viewer with an expression that is both focused and forlorn, suggesting an inner turmoil or a moment of reflection. The setting includes a wall adorned with a wood-framed piece of art which depicts a lively and active scene, contrasting with the static and contemplative nature of the central figure.

A man is also featured, seated at the same table, engaged with papers and work, seemingly oblivious to the young woman’s state. This dynamic fosters a narrative of emotional disconnect or preoccupation with the activities of daily life. The treatment of the interior adds depth to the scene, where the warm, wood-tinged colors impart a sense of the era and the private nature of the moment captured.

Degas’ skill in rendering the textures of fabrics and the subtleties of human expression is evident in the meticulous depiction of the woman’s dress and the nuanced presentation of her demeanor. “Sulking” is an evocative portrayal that engages the viewer in a moment of personal narrative, a testament to Degas’ mastery in portraying the complexity of human emotion and interaction within his art.

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