Woman Squatting (c.1879) by Edgar Degas

Woman Squatting - Edgar Degas - c.1879

Artwork Information

TitleWoman Squatting
ArtistEdgar Degas
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationMusée d'Orsay, Paris, France

About Woman Squatting

The artwork, “Woman Squatting,” by Edgar Degas dates to approximately 1879 and is executed in pastel. This piece is affiliated with the Impressionism movement and falls under the genre of nude painting (nu). Currently, it resides at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France.

Depicted in the artwork is a woman in a squatting posture, viewed from behind. The figure’s bare back is highlighted while her head is tilted downward, perhaps in a moment of quiet introspection or while engaged in a mundane activity. The use of pastel allows for soft, delicate hues and textural contrasts that emphasize the play of light and shadow on the form. Degas’ composition and brushwork capture the immediacy of the scene, with a notable lack of detail that echoes the impressionistic penchant for the fleeting moment over clear definition. Despite the simplicity of the setting and the subject’s unassuming position, there is an intimate and personal quality to the piece that is typical of Degas’ sensitive approach to the human figure. The surrounding environment is rendered with quick, expressive strokes, suggesting a domestic interior space without providing explicit details, focusing the observer’s attention squarely on the figure.

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