Woman with a Towel (1898) by Edgar Degas

Woman with a Towel - Edgar Degas - 1898

Artwork Information

TitleWoman with a Towel
ArtistEdgar Degas
Art MovementImpressionism

About Woman with a Towel

The artwork titled “Woman with a Towel,” created in 1898 by Edgar Degas, is a pastel piece that belongs to the Impressionist movement and falls within the genre of nude painting (nu). The work is a quintessential example of Degas’ interest in the human form and his mastery of pastels.

In this artwork, Degas captures a seemingly intimate moment of a nude woman who appears to be drying or wrapping herself with a towel. The subject’s body is tilted away from the viewer, with her back predominantly exposed and her head turned slightly, allowing just a glimpse of her profile. The figure’s posture and the act of drying suggest a candid, private moment, in line with Degas’ frequent depiction of ordinary scenes from daily life.

The composition employs loose but deliberate strokes, a hallmark of the Impressionist style, conveying both the softness of the towel and the subtle gradations of light and shadow on the woman’s skin. Although the colors are softly blended, there is a vibrancy to the palette, with the warm tones of the woman’s body contrasting against the cooler shades of her surroundings.

Degas’ use of color and light is particularly noteworthy; the pastel medium allows for a rich application of pigment, resulting in a dynamic interplay of texture and tone. The background is abstract, with vertical lines and color blocks suggesting an interior space without detracting from the central figure. This setting frames the woman’s form and draws attention to the sensuality and physicality of the human body. The artwork exemplifies Degas’ exploration of movement and the human figure, as well as his innovative approach to composition and color.

Other Artwork from Edgar Degas

More Impressionism Artwork

Scroll to Top