Woman in a Blue Dressing Gown, Torso Exposed (c.1887 – c.1890) by Edgar Degas

Woman in a Blue Dressing Gown, Torso Exposed - Edgar Degas - c.1887 - c.1890

Artwork Information

TitleWoman in a Blue Dressing Gown, Torso Exposed
ArtistEdgar Degas
Datec.1887 - c.1890
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection
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About Woman in a Blue Dressing Gown, Torso Exposed

The artwork “Woman in a Blue Dressing Gown, Torso Exposed” by Edgar Degas dates from approximately 1887 to 1890. It is crafted in oil on canvas and belongs to the Impressionism movement. The genre of the piece is nude painting (nu), which was a common subject in the era’s art. This particular work is part of a private collection and showcases the artist’s characteristic use of color and light to capture the essence of the moment.

In the artwork, we observe with acute sensitivity the depiction of a woman captured mid-movement. Degas presents her with her torso exposed, as she is seemingly in the midst of dressing or perhaps undressing. The woman’s upper body is bare, while a blue dressing gown envelops her lower torso. Degas has rendered the gown with vigorous brushstrokes in varying shades of blue that suggest the textured fabric and the folds created by the body’s movement.

Degas’ talent for creating a sense of intimacy is palpable, hinting at a private, unguarded moment that is both delicate and bold. The background is an interplay of warm hues that contrast with the cool tones of the gown, creating an atmosphere that feels both vibrant and somber. His use of blurred lines and soft edges gives the painting a dreamlike quality, consistent with the Impressionist objective of capturing the fleeting effects of light and color, rather than concrete reality.

The woman’s posture and the positioning of her arms, one raised to her head, convey a naturalism that Degas is known for— a candid snapshot of everyday life, unrehearsed and unposed. This approach to subject matter is reflective of the broadening perspectives of the time and the fascination with the beauty of transient moments. The artwork exemplifies Degas’ masterful use of his medium and his contribution to the development of Impressionism.

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