Woman Touching Her Arm (c.1883) by Edgar Degas

Woman Touching Her Arm - Edgar Degas - c.1883

Artwork Information

TitleWoman Touching Her Arm
ArtistEdgar Degas
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Woman Touching Her Arm

The artwork entitled “Woman Touching Her Arm” was created by the renowned artist Edgar Degas around 1883. Degas, celebrated for his contributions to the Impressionist movement, employed pastel as his chosen medium for this piece. Categorized primarily as a sketch and study, it reflects the characteristic spontaneity and motion captured by artists of the Impressionist era. Although held in a private collection, this artwork provides a glimpse into Degas’ adept use of color and form to convey a momentary impression.

The artwork presents a delicate yet intimate study of a woman engaged in the simple act of touching her arm. The form is rendered with soft lines and a subtle interplay of light and shadow, suggesting the tenderness of the gesture. There is a palpable sense of immediacy in the way the pastels are applied, with visible strokes that communicate both the texture of the clothing and the flesh beneath. Degas’ use of contrasting colors—warm hues of the subject set against the neutral background—heightens the sense of depth and roundness of the figure.

One might interpret the close-up perspective and the downward gaze of the woman as an expression of introspection or a moment of self-reflection. Despite the sketch-like quality of the piece, there is an accomplished balance of realism and abstraction, with enough detail to evoke a sense of the woman’s presence and enough ambiguity to invite the viewer’s interpretation. The signature of Degas located toward the lower right anchors the work within his distinguished oeuvre.

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