Woman Combing Her Hair (c. 1886) by Edgar Degas

Woman Combing Her Hair - Edgar Degas - 1885

Artwork Information

TitleWoman Combing Her Hair
ArtistEdgar Degas
MediumPastel on cardboard
Dimensions21 x 20 1/2 in. (53 x 52 cm)
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationHermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia

About Woman Combing Her Hair

The artwork “Woman Combing Her Hair” is a pastel on cardboard masterpiece by Edgar Degas, created in the year 1885. This piece is a splendid example of Impressionist art, known for its evocation of fleeting moments and the sensation of motion. Measuring 21 by 20 1/2 inches (53 by 52 centimeters), the genre of the artwork is classified as a nude painting. The artwork currently resides in the Hermitage Museum located in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where it continues to be a testament to Degas’ skill and the Impressionist movement.

The artwork depicts an intimate scene centered around the sensual and everyday act of a woman combing her hair. She is captured from behind, providing a voyeuristic glance into this private moment. Her nude figure is portrayed with a softness of form and a delicate handling of light and shadow, which is characteristic of Degas’ work. The composition is balanced yet dynamic, with the woman’s arms raised and bent in the effort of grooming, creating flowing lines and a sense of movement. There is a stark contrast between the warm tones of the woman’s skin and the coolness of the surrounding space, accentuated by the pastels. Degas’ signature appears in the upper right corner, indicating his authorship of this quietly evocative work.

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