Woman Ironing (1884 – 1886) by Edgar Degas

Woman Ironing - Edgar Degas - 1884 - 1886

Artwork Information

TitleWoman Ironing
ArtistEdgar Degas
Date1884 - 1886
Dimensions80 x 63.5 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationWalker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK

About Woman Ironing

The artwork “Woman Ironing” is a captivating piece by Edgar Degas, created between 1884 and 1886. This painting, an example of genre painting, is executed in oil on canvas and is part of the Impressionist movement. It measures 80 by 63.5 cm and is housed in the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, UK. Degas, renowned for his contributions to Impressionism, deftly captures the essence of daily life through his meticulous observation and rendering.

In the artwork, the viewer observes a woman engaged in the task of ironing. Her stance is slightly hunched, indicating the physicality of her chore. Her figure dominates the composition, with her face averted and partly shadowed, which lends an air of intimacy and immediacy to the scene. The surroundings are depicted with a restrained palette that accentuates the feeling of warmth and soft light. The visible brushstrokes and the play of light and shadow reflect the distinctive characteristics of Impressionism, where the focus is on capturing the fleeting moments of ordinary life.

Degas’ use of light and color suggests a sense of depth and texture in the woman’s clothing and the fabrics she irons. Despite the simplicity of the subject, the artist infuses the painting with a dignified grace, allowing the viewer to glimpse a moment of quiet concentration and perhaps even the solitude of domestic labor. “Woman Ironing” is a poignant representation of the everyday tasks that occupy the lives of working-class individuals, brought to life with sensitive artistry.

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