Violinist and Young Woman (c.1872) by Edgar Degas

Violinist and Young Woman - Edgar Degas - c.1872

Artwork Information

TitleViolinist and Young Woman
ArtistEdgar Degas
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationDetroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI, US

About Violinist and Young Woman

The artwork titled “Violinist and Young Woman” is an oil painting on canvas by the renowned impressionist artist Edgar Degas, dating to circa 1872. This portrait is part of the Impressionist movement, which is characterized by its use of light and brush strokes to capture the momentary, sensory effect of a scene. The artwork is housed at the Detroit Institute of Arts in Detroit, Michigan, United States.

In this painting, Edgar Degas depicts a scene with two figures: a violinist and a young woman. The man is seated to the right, holding a violin and bow in a casual, almost tired manner, his eyes looking down, concentrating or possibly in a state of introspection. He is dressed in vibrant attire, with a bright red jacket that captures attention. The young woman is seated to the left, turned to face the viewer, with her body twisted slightly as if she has just turned around in her chair. Her gaze seems contemplative, and her expression is somewhat enigmatic. She appears to be elegantly dressed, suggesting a setting of some refinement.

The use of lighting and color is typical of Degas’ style, where the figures are sketched with quick, loose brushstrokes and the overall composition emanates a sense of casualness rather than formality. The background remains undefined which draws the focus more on the interaction—or the lack thereof—between the two figures. The expressions and posture of the subjects suggest a narrative, perhaps a rehearsal or a moment of rest within a social gathering. The lack of detailed context allows viewers to imagine the story behind this moment captured by Degas.

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