The Cup of Tea (Breakfast after Bathing) (1883) by Edgar Degas

The Cup of Tea (Breakfast after Bathing) - Edgar Degas - 1883

Artwork Information

TitleThe Cup of Tea (Breakfast after Bathing)
ArtistEdgar Degas
Dimensions121 x 92 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About The Cup of Tea (Breakfast after Bathing)

“The Cup of Tea (Breakfast after Bathing)” is an artwork executed by Edgar Degas in 1883. This pastel is within the Impressionist movement, a genre painting measuring 121 x 92 cm. As of the latest records, it resides in a private collection.

The artwork captures an intimate domestic scene featuring two figures. On the left, a woman appears in the act of drying herself with a towel, her back turned to the viewer, revealing the contours of her body in a naturalistic and unidealized manner. The atmospheric effect created through Degas’ use of pastel gives the scene a soft texture, highlighting the warmth and privacy of the moment.

To the right, another woman is seated, presumably having finished her bath, with a cup of tea in her hands. Her posture is relaxed and contemplative, possibly in a state of repose after the refreshment of her bath. The gentle light filters through the space, illuminating the figures and creating a sense of tranquility. Degas’ skillful composition and his focus on the sensuality of the figures’ forms are indicative of his interest in the everyday moments of life and his ability to infuse such scenes with a sense of dignity and grace. The viewer is allowed a glimpse into what appears to be a candid and serene start to the day, characterized by the ordinary yet personal ritual of bathing and taking tea.

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