Women on a Cafe Terrace (1877) by Edgar Degas

Women on a Cafe Terrace - Edgar Degas - 1877

Artwork Information

TitleWomen on a Cafe Terrace
ArtistEdgar Degas
Dimensions54.5 x 71.5 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationMusée d'Orsay, Paris, France

About Women on a Cafe Terrace

The artwork entitled “Women on a Cafe Terrace” was crafted by the illustrious artist Edgar Degas in the year 1877. This piece of Impressionist genre painting is executed in the medium of pastel, showcasing Degas’ mastery of color and light. The artwork spans a dimension of 54.5 by 71.5 cm. It can be found in the revered Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France, where it contributes to their remarkable collection of Impressionist art.

The artwork captures a seemingly casual moment at a Parisian café, reflecting the spirit of its era. It portrays a group of women seated on a café terrace, engaging in social interaction or in personal contemplation. The viewpoint suggests that the viewer is sharing the space with the subjects, offering a candid glimpse into their daily lives. Degas’ use of pastel lends a soft yet vibrant quality to the scene, vividly rendering the textures of the women’s attire and the ambient light that bathes the terrace. The technique is particularly notable for its ability to convey the fleeting effects of light and shadow, hallmarks of the Impressionist movement.

Foregrounded by the architectural lines of the café, the women are positioned at different angles, with some facing the viewer, while others are in profile or seen from the back. This arrangement creates a dynamic composition, while also allowing for an exploration of the varied expressions and moods of the women. With this work, Degas adeptly captures the essence of Parisian social life in the late 19th century, providing a window into the world of leisure among the city’s populace.

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