Woman Drying her Arm (c.1884) by Edgar Degas

Woman Drying her Arm - Edgar Degas - c.1884

Artwork Information

TitleWoman Drying her Arm
ArtistEdgar Degas
Dimensions54.5 x 65.5 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Woman Drying her Arm

The artwork entitled “Woman Drying her Arm” is the creation of the renowned artist Edgar Degas, dated circa 1884. This piece, executed in pastel, is considered a notable example of the Impressionist movement. The dimensions of the work are 54.5 by 65.5 cm, and it depicts a genre scene focusing on a nude figure. The pastel is currently housed in a private collection.

Depicting an intimate moment, the artwork showcases a female nude, who is captured in the act of drying her arm, an everyday action that is imbued with a sense of elegance and fluidity by Degas’ masterful hand. The figure is angled away from the viewer, with her back and the gentle curve of her spine serving as focal points. The composition is marked by soft forms and the delicate use of light and shade, characteristic of Degas’ approach and the Impressionist style. Textural contrasts between the apparently soft fabric of the towel and the smoothness of the woman’s skin are effectively rendered through Degas’ skillful pastel technique. The color palette consists of warm, earthy tones, emphasizing the roundness of her limbs and the tenderness of the scene. Overall, the work captures the transient quality of light and portrays the gracefulness of the human form in repose, reflecting Degas’ interest in the movement and the human figure, as well as the influence of the Impressionist preoccupation with capturing the ephemeral nature of light and moment.

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