Woman Having a Bath (c.1886 – c.1888) by Edgar Degas

Woman Having a Bath - Edgar Degas - c.1886 - c.1888

Artwork Information

TitleWoman Having a Bath
ArtistEdgar Degas
Datec.1886 - c.1888
Art MovementImpressionism
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About Woman Having a Bath

The artwork titled “Woman Having a Bath” is a creation of the renowned artist Edgar Degas, who executed this piece between circa 1886 and 1888. Crafted using the medium of pastel, the artwork is recognized as part of the Impressionism movement and is categorized within the nude painting (nu) genre.

In the artwork, a female figure is depicted in the intimate act of bathing. The viewer’s perspective is from behind the subject, capturing a moment of everyday life with a focus on the natural curvature of the woman’s back and the roundness of her hips. The use of pastel allows for the soft blending of colors and an overall gentle rendering of form, which is characteristic of Degas’ masterful hand.

The background is rendered with warm, harmonious tones, providing a stark contrast with the paler skin of the figure, thereby drawing particular attention to the body’s form and the play of light across its surface. The details of the room and its contents are suggested rather than fully defined, allowing the spectator to focus on the figure’s gestures and the tactile quality of the pastel application. This piece is exemplary of Degas’ interest in capturing fleeting moments of daily life, as well as his innovative approach to composition and the Impressionist fascination with light and shadow.

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