The Bath (c.1890 – c.1894) by Edgar Degas

The Bath - Edgar Degas - c.1890 - c.1894

Artwork Information

TitleThe Bath
ArtistEdgar Degas
Datec.1890 - c.1894
Art MovementImpressionism

About The Bath

“The Bath” is an artwork created by Edgar Degas, which dates from circa 1890 to circa 1894. This piece, executed in charcoal, is attributed to the Impressionism art movement and falls within the genre of nude painting (nu). The work reflects Impressionism’s focus on light and movement, as well as the innovative compositions for which the artist was renowned.

In the artwork, a female nude is depicted in a highly intimate and reflective moment. She is seated, bent over, attending to her feet in an act of personal grooming or bathing. The composition is such that the viewer seems to be witnessing a private, mundane moment transformed into a subject of artistic contemplation. The use of light and shadow in the charcoal medium accentuates the curves and physicality of the woman’s body, while Degas’s loose, expressive strokes contribute to a sense of transient movement, despite the stillness of the figure. The background is sketched with vigorous lines predominated by blues, suggesting a sense of the immediate environment without offering detail that might distract from the central figure. The stark contrast and the lack of intricate background detail focus the viewers’ attention on the nude form, emphasizing the act of bathing as an everyday ritual imbued with grace and beauty. Degas’s talent in bringing sensitivity and a sense of candidness to such scenes is well evidenced in this artwork.

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