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  • Edgar Degas
    Jul 19, 1834 - Sep 27, 1917
  • After the Bath, Woman Drying Herself 1895-1900 - Edgar Degas was a French artist famous for his work in painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism although he rejected the term, and preferred to be called a realist. A superb draughtsman, he is especially identified with the subject of the dance, and over half his works depict dancers.
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After the Bath, Woman Drying Herself 1895-1900
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  • After the Bath, Woman Drying Herself 1895-1900

  • Edgar Degas
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  • 1903
    Pastel on tracing paper
    Courtauld Institute Galleries, England.

    MANY VARIATIONS ON THIS THEME were attempted by Degas, none stronger, bolder, or more violent in color than this late example. The picture exists in a brilliant, Expressionist glow which reaches its climax in the red hair of the bather, against a brilliant fiery orange patch in the background. No longer do we distinguish wall or drapery. Space is flattened into a pattern of vivid hues, scratched and crossed by other colors laid over them. In places the pastel is several coats thick, Degas allowing glints of the under color to show through. There is no attempt to study actual reflections; rather he weaves an unreal pattern of color as a background for his figure.

    The action of the woman is now strongly simplified and only those elements are kept which convey the dominant movement of the body. Charcoal is boldly used for outlines, and many colors, put on in excited strokes of rose, pale green, and lavender, give the figure a strange prismatic force. In such works Degas seems to belong more and more to the twentieth century. Though still based on a study from nature, such a pastel is strongly abstract in feeling, foretelling by some ten years the experiments of Kan-dinsky and the German Expressionists who will finally do away with all references to the object, liberating light and color and line, and allowing them to become the new basis of painting.

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Other paintings by Edgar Degas:

After the Bath, Woman Drying Herself 1888-1892
After the Bath, Woman Drying Herself 1888-1892
After the Bath, Woman Drying Herself 1892
After the Bath, Woman Drying Herself 1892
After the Bath, Woman Drying Herself 1895-1905
After the Bath, Woman Drying Herself 1895-1905
After the Bath, Woman Drying Herself 1900-1905
After the Bath, Woman Drying Herself 1900-1905
Edgar DegasEdgar Degas As the son of a wealthy Parisian banking family, Edgar Hilaire Germain Degas originally planned to study law before opting to enter the Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1855. His studies there strongly emphasized traditional drawing skills. Degas excelled and his extraordinary draftsmanship became a hallmark of his work. In 1856, Degas traveled extensively throughout Italy where he studied renaissance and classical masterpieces.

As a founding member of the Impressionists, Degas helped to organize the ground-breaking exhibition of 1874, exhibiting 10 of his own pieces in this inaugural show. While historically labeled an Impressionist, Degas preferred the term "Naturalist". He seldom painted en plein- air. Instead preferring to work from sketches and models. The artist once said: "My art has nothing spontaneous about it, it is all reflection." His studies frequently convey an element of psychological tension, offering the viewer intimate vignettes of life in late 19th century Paris. Fascinated with the movement of forms through space, Degas often sketched dancers from the wings of theaters, working in pastel and charcoal to capture his subjects with an unrivaled immediacy. Women dancing or merely engaged in the activities of daily life consistently his favored subject. Scholarship is currently divided as to whether Degas was a misogynist or an early feminist but the raging controversy has yet to dampen enthusiasm for the artist's work.

Degas liked photography so he painted similar to how a camera would capture a picture.