Woman Leaving Her Bath (c.1886 – c.1888) by Edgar Degas

Woman Leaving Her Bath - Edgar Degas - c.1886 - c.1888

Artwork Information

TitleWoman Leaving Her Bath
ArtistEdgar Degas
Datec.1886 - c.1888
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Woman Leaving Her Bath

The artwork “Woman Leaving Her Bath” by Edgar Degas dates from the period c.1886 to c.1888. Created with pastel, it is a quintessential example of the Impressionist movement, focusing on a genre scene involving a nude figure. As a piece of nude painting, it reflects the intimate and candid characteristics often associated with Degas’s body of work. Currently, this artwork is part of a private collection, which highlights its value and the esteem it holds amongst connoisseurs and collectors of Impressionist art.

In this pastel piece, the artist captures a solitary moment of a woman as she exits her bath. Emphasizing the grace and naturalness of an everyday act, the composition focuses on the curves and posture of the female form. The woman appears absorbed in her action, oblivious to any outside gaze. The choice of medium results in a texturally rich and visually soft scene, with the pastel allowing for subtle gradations of color and a somewhat diffuse light that is characteristic of Impressionist works.

The background consists of warm, rich colors, with vertical strokes suggesting the intimacy and warmth of a private chamber. The gentle color contrasts and the play of light emphasize the sensual curves of the woman’s back and the softness of her skin. One can note the influence of Japanese prints on Degas’s style in the flattened background and the off-center composition of the figure. The handling of the pastel medium shows the artist’s adeptness at blending color and form to convey a sense of immediacy and fleeting movement, which is a hallmark of the Impressionist style.

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