Woman Combing Her Hair (1894) by Edgar Degas

Woman Combing Her Hair - Edgar Degas - 1894

Artwork Information

TitleWoman Combing Her Hair
ArtistEdgar Degas
Dimensions70.6 x 83 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Woman Combing Her Hair

The artwork entitled “Woman Combing Her Hair” was crafted by Edgar Degas in the year 1894. This pastel work, measuring 70.6 cm by 83 cm, belongs to the genre of sketch and study and is a manifestation of the Impressionist art movement. Currently, the artwork is held in a private collection.

In this artwork, Degas captures an intimate moment in the daily routine of a woman tending to her hair. The composition is rendered with the delicate interplay of light and color distinctive to pastel work. The figure in the artwork is shown in profile with her head gently tilted, providing a sense of movement and immediacy as if the viewer has stumbled upon a private moment. The strokes that compose her hair are both fluid and expressive, implying the texture and flow of individual strands being combed through. Degas’ technique illustrates not only the form but also the softness of the subject’s hair, which stands in contrast to the suggestion of her delicate yet defined facial features.

The use of color is subtle yet impactful, with warm hues in the background that complement the natural tones used for the figure, creating an ambience that is both tranquil and rich. The soft edges and blurred lines contribute to the overall impressionistic style, which seeks to capture fleeting moments and the effects of light rather than strictly realistic representations. This work is characteristic of Degas’ later oeuvre, wherein he increasingly turned to pastels and chose subjects offering a glimpse into the candid aspects of daily life.

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