Woman Drying Herself (c.1893 – c.1898) by Edgar Degas

Woman Drying Herself - Edgar Degas - c.1893 - c.1898

Artwork Information

TitleWoman Drying Herself
ArtistEdgar Degas
Datec.1893 - c.1898
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Woman Drying Herself

The artwork “Woman Drying Herself” is a distinguished piece by Edgar Degas, created approximately between 1893 and 1898. This piece is rendered mainly in graphite and is a prime example of the Impressionist movement. As a nude painting (nu), it falls into a genre that focuses on the depiction of the naked human figure, a prevalent subject in the artist’s oeuvre. Currently, this notable work is part of a private collection, implying that it is not on public display but is rather held in an individual’s personal assemblage of art.

The artwork portrays a woman engaged in the intimate act of drying herself. Her body language suggests a moment of privacy and routine, skillfully captured by Degas’s use of line and shadow. The woman is depicted with her back to the viewer, bending forward with one arm raised, holding onto a fixture for support. This pose allows for a dynamic examination of the human form and emphasizes the naturalistic contours of her figure.

The composition is rich in texture and color, traits characteristic of Degas’s style. His use of hatching and crosshatching creates a sense of volume and depth, while the subtle interplay of warm and cool tones enhances the sensuality of the subject. The background of the painting features loose, sketch-like impressions of objects, possibly furnishings, that contribute to the sense of a domestic setting. Despite the details being abstracted, they form an impression of a coherent space around the central figure.

Degas’s work often explored the theme of women in their private moments, and this artwork is a testament to his interest in the candid aspects of daily life. It reflects not only the artist’s mastery over form and composition but also his nuanced understanding of human psychology and the portrayal of unguarded moments.

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