The Invalid (c.1868 – c.1873) by Edgar Degas

The Invalid - Edgar Degas - c.1868 - c.1873

Artwork Information

TitleThe Invalid
ArtistEdgar Degas
Datec.1868 - c.1873
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About The Invalid

“The Invalid,” an artwork by the renowned artist Edgar Degas, dates approximately from 1868 to 1873 and is executed in oil on canvas. Classified as a portrait, this piece is associated with the Impressionist movement and is currently held in a private collection. The merits of the artwork are known to connoisseurs and enthusiasts of fine art who appreciate the unique qualities of Impressionist portraiture.

The artwork reveals a subject who appears to be a woman resting and possibly in a state of convalescence, as suggested by the title “The Invalid.” Her attire, consisting of a white dress with a dark shawl or cloak draped over her shoulders, is rendered with a combination of precise and loose brushstrokes—a technique often employed by Impressionists to capture a moment with vitality and realism. The woman’s pose is one of languor; her head leans heavily upon her hand, with her elbow supported by what appears to be a cushion or padded surface. Her expression is one of weariness or introspection, and the choice of muted colors further emphasizes a sense of stillness and perhaps of softness in her environment. The luminosity of the white dress stands out against the darker background, drawing attention to the figure and adding a subtle contrast.

Degas’ adept handling of light and shadow, along with his characteristic loose brushwork, provide depth and texture to the scene. There is a palpable intimacy in this depiction of quiet personal struggle or repose. As with many of Degas’ works, there is an emotional resonance that is both specific in its portrayal of this individual and universal in its evocation of human restfulness and vulnerability.

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