Woman Having Her Hair Combed (1895) by Edgar Degas

Woman Having Her Hair Combed - Edgar Degas - 1895

Artwork Information

TitleWoman Having Her Hair Combed
ArtistEdgar Degas
Dimensions74 x 60.6 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
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About Woman Having Her Hair Combed

The artwork “Woman Having Her Hair Combed” is a creation by the prominent artist Edgar Degas, completed in the year 1895. This piece, rendered in pastel on paper, belongs to the Impressionist movement, reflecting the period’s characteristic style and technique. The dimensions of the artwork measure approximately 74 by 60.6 centimeters, and it falls within the genre of nude painting (nu), which often explores the beauty and form of the human figure.

In this artwork, the viewer observes a scene capturing the intimate and everyday act of grooming. A nude woman is seated upon a plush, golden-yellow chair, and her posture suggests a sense of relaxed abandonment. Her torso is twisted slightly, enhancing the curvature of her spine and the rendering of her flesh. Her head is tilted upwards and back as a second figure, visible only from the waist down, combs through her hair with great attention and care. The sense of movement in the subject’s hair and the attendant’s hands create a dynamic interplay that energizes the composition.

Degas’ mastery with pastels is evident in the rich textures and varied color applications, from the softness of the skin tones to the vibrant yellows of the chair and background. Despite the everyday nature of the subject, Degas imparts a sense of grace and tranquility to the scene. The choice of color, light, and the candid depiction of the subject are indicative of the Impressionist movement’s focus on capturing the nuances of light and the essence of the moment. The artwork stands as a testament to Degas’ skill in rendering the human form and his ability to infuse the mundane with a sense of poetry and depth.

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