Edgar Degas, Woman Leaving Her Bath, 1888
|Artist:||Edgar Degas (1834 - 1917)|
|Title:||Woman Leaving Her Bath, 1888|
|Medium:||Original Lithograph in Chine Collé on Hand Made Fibrous Paper|
|Image Size:||15 in x 11 in (38 cm x 28 cm)|
|Framed Size:||30 in x 27 1/4 in (76.2 cm x 69.2 cm)|
|Edition:||From the edition of 25, hand-signed by Edgar Degas (Paris, 1834- Paris, 1917).|
|Signature:||Hand signed by Edgar Degas (Paris, 1834- Paris, 1917) in pencil in the lower left margin and also hand signed by G.W. Thornley in pencil in the lower right margin.|
|Condition:||This work is in excellent condition with exquisite detail and delicate tonal value.|
Item # 3060
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Historical Description of this artwork
Created in 1888, this work was produced by William Thornley, with whom Degas (Paris, 1834- Paris, 1917) often collaborated, and based on a pastel done by Degas. This piece is hand-signed by Edgar Degas (Paris, 1834- Paris, 1917) in pencil in the lower left margin and also hand signed by G.W. Thornley in pencil in the lower right margin. From the edition of 25, hand-signed by Edgar Degas (Paris, 1834- Paris, 1917).
This piece benchmarks Degas’ (Paris, 1834- Paris, 1917) later work, that is often heralded for his interesting takes on an old subject, that of the nude female. In taking pains to depict an anatomically perfect female who obeys the laws of proportions, Degas’ lost none of her soft, quiet, unblemished and austere beauty. What is so special about this piece is perhaps Degas’ ability to synthesize ideas so eloquently. A thorough investigation of the human form, an irregular composition, and an emphasis on delicate lines depict a delicate, distinctly female form, exiting her bath.
Simultaneously classical and modern, Degas’ (Paris, 1834- Paris, 1917) later works are a beautiful blend of human anatomy and genre. His painstaking depictions of the female form placed against the background of private daily routine results in works that are part investigation of human structure and part peeps into the private routines of turn of the century women. In these later works our viewpoint has shifted to eyelevel where we come one on one with the figure that comes to dominate the composition. In suppressing his pallet, Degas’ focuses our attention not to gaudy color combinations, but on the beauty of a simple if not elegant line, further glorifying the beauty of the subject. Yet in his delicate renderings, Degas spared no details, and we are allowed an investigation of light as it bounces off of her shoulders, legs and back, while her outstretched arms reach for her peignoir. In delving into old themes and varying his medium, viewpoint, and compositions, Degas revealed the progression of his artistic aspiration to reveal what was simultaneously common and beautiful. It is his self-consciously classical treatment of these women during their daily routines, which underscores their beauty, if not their importance.
DOCUMENTED AND ILLUSTRATED IN:
1. Kendall Richard, Degas Beyond Impressionism, National Gallery Publications, London, 1996. Listed as Figure 32 on page 41.
2. Boggs, Degas, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1988. Listed as figure 250 on page 418.
About the Framing:
Museum grade conservation framed in a complementary moulding with silk mats and optical grade Plexiglas.
What Do I Get With My Purchase?
The Certificate of Authenticity accompanies this work, guaranteeing its authenticity for as long as you own it.
All catalogue raisonné and historical documentation is included with your purchase.
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Edgar Degas, painter of modern life in 19th century France, depicts dancers in tutus and jockeys mounted on horseback. His oil paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints are celebrated for their realism and for their impressionistic style. Take home a signed Degas lithograph today.
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Edgar Degas Biography
French painter and sculptor, one of the outstanding figures of Impressionism. Edgar Degas exhibited at seven out of the eight Impressionist exhibitions, but he stood somewhat aloof from the other members of the group and his work was Impressionist only in certain limited aspects. Like the other Impressionists, Degas aimed to give the suggestion of spontaneous and unplanned scenes and a feeling of movement, and like them, he was influenced by photography (he often cut off figures in the manner of a snapshot) and by Japanese color prints (he imitated their use of unfamiliar viewpoints). However, he had little interest in landscape (he did not paint out of doors) and therefore did not share the Impressionist concern for rendering the effects of changing light and atmosphere. The appearance of spontaneity and accidental effects in his work was an appearance only; in reality his pictures were carefully composed. He said that ‘Even when working from nature, one has to compose’ and that ‘No art was ever less spontaneous than mine’.
Degas always worked much in pastel and when his sight began to fail in the 1880s his preference for this medium increased. He also began modeling in wax at this time, and during the 1890s — as his sight worsened — he devoted himself increasingly to sculpture, his favorite subjects being horses in action, women at their toilet, and nude dancers. These figures were cast in bronze after his death. For the last 20 years of his life Degas was virtually blind and led a reclusive life. He was a formidable personality and his complete devotion to his art made him seem cold and aloof (as far as is known, he never had any kind of romantic involvement). His genius compelled universal respect among other artists. Degas drawings and sculptures continue to be exhibited around the world. However, Renoir ranked him above Rodin as a sculptor, and in 1883 Camille Pissarro wrote that he was ‘certainly the greatest artist of our epoch’. He was the first of the Impressionist group to achieve recognition and his reputation as one of the giants of 19th-century art has endured undiminished. His influence on 20th-century art has been rich and varied-on artists whom he knew personally, such as Sickert, and on later admirers. He was a superlative draughtsman and his work has appealed greatly to other outstanding draughtsmen, such as Hockney and Picasso. His mastery of pastel has been an inspiration to Kitaj.
Chilvers, Osborne, and Farr, The Oxford Dictionary of Art, Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York, 1997. p. 154