Description of the painting by Edgar Degas "Bathers"

Description of the painting by Edgar Degas

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This pastel is one of the most ambitious projects of Edgar Degas in the last ten years of his life. The picture depicts four women engaged in swimming. Someone is engaged in various procedures, and someone just basks on the grass after the end of this important and pleasant ritual. As in his other works, the artist chooses a simple plot for the image, familiar to the viewer. Judging by the relaxed postures, women behave at ease, not knowing that the artist is spying on them, and with it the audience of the picture. The desire to fix a specific action in time and space distinguishes the artist from other followers of impressionism.

The painting is interesting for its unique writing technique. The artist created each color layer on a translucent tracing paper separately, and then combined all of them together. This creates a feeling of volume and bulge of work. The picture was not finished by Edgar Degas. At the bottom of the work, a fragment is noticeable that differs in color and drawing from the whole picture. Perhaps the artist did this on purpose.

The background of the picture is striking in its versatility and smooth transitions of one color to another. Moreover, the image of the bathers themselves seems conditional and sketchy. We do not see the facial features of any of them, and the figures are in a haze. The viewer will see the outlines of beautiful female bodies, but without erotic details.

From the point of view of composition, women evenly fill the space of the picture. Edgar Degas positions the bathers so that the viewer's gaze slides from right to left, from the closest figure to the farthest. This was a new word in painting. Prior to this, the artist used the traditional technique of keeping his eyes exclusively clockwise.

Picture by Rubens Perseus And Andromeda

Watch the video: Curators in Conversation. Making Colour. The National Gallery, London (June 2022).


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