Woman in Blue (Portrait of Mlle. Helene Rouart) (1886) by Edgar Degas

Woman in Blue (Portrait of Mlle. Helene Rouart) - Edgar Degas - 1886

Artwork Information

TitleWoman in Blue (Portrait of Mlle. Helene Rouart)
ArtistEdgar Degas
Dimensions48.5 x 31 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Woman in Blue (Portrait of Mlle. Helene Rouart)

The artwork titled “Woman in Blue (Portrait of Mlle. Helene Rouart),” created by Edgar Degas in 1886, is a pastel medium piece representative of the Impressionist movement. It measures 48.5 by 31 centimeters and is classified as a sketch and study. Currently, this artwork is part of a private collection.

In the artwork, a woman is depicted in a three-quarter stance against a neutral background that allows the viewer’s focus to fall squarely on her. The artist favors a limited color palette, with shades of blue and slight touches of other complementary tones to bring out the texture and form of the woman’s attire. The woman’s expression is rendered with introspective details, granting her an air of gentle contemplation or quiet dignity.

Degas’ use of pastel, with its inherent capacity for soft edges and subtle transitions, enhances the sense of immediacy and emotional nuance in the portrayal. The brush strokes are loose and lively, consistent with the spontaneous nature of Impressionist art, yet suggestive of the careful study of the subject’s character and mood. Notably, the lack of precise detail in the artwork emphasizes the overall impression of the subject, rather than an exact likeness, typical of the sketches and studies from this era.

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