Woman Seen from Behind, Drying Hair (c.1905 – c.1910) by Edgar Degas

Woman Seen from Behind, Drying Hair - Edgar Degas - c.1905 - c.1910

Artwork Information

TitleWoman Seen from Behind, Drying Hair
ArtistEdgar Degas
Datec.1905 - c.1910
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Woman Seen from Behind, Drying Hair

The artwork “Woman Seen from Behind, Drying Hair” was crafted by the esteemed artist Edgar Degas, approximately between 1905 and 1910. Executed in pastel, a medium that Degas mastered and often employed in his exploration of the human form, the artwork is a clear example of the Impressionism art movement. Belonging to the genre of nude painting (nu), this work is currently part of a private collection, signifying its status as a sought-after piece of Degas’s oeuvre.

The artwork portrays the intimate moment of a woman drying her hair. Viewed from behind, the subject is depicted in a candid posture that suggests movement and spontaneity. The woman’s form is sketched with a sense of immediacy that channels the Impressionist preoccupation with capturing fleeting moments. The pastel medium has allowed Degas to blend colors directly on the paper, producing a rich texture that vivifies the scene with vibrancy and warmth.

Degas’s distinctive use of color and light is evident, where the warmth of the yellow and brown hues in the background contrasts with the cooler, softer blues and whites that define the woman’s garment and skin. This contrast not only draws attention to the figure as the main subject but also evokes a strong sense of three-dimensionality and depth. The application of pastel is loose and expressive, creating an almost abstract quality that harmonizes with the Impressionist focus on the artist’s perception over exact representation.

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