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Edgar Degas is a classic impressionistic artist that originated during the 19th century.
His work includes a collection of ballerinas, nude figures, portraits, and scenic paintings. The painting of Edmond and Therese Morbilli belongs to a collection of portraits the artist produced during the 1860’s and 1870’s. The artist had slightly veered away from the classic elements he portrayed throughout his work, and rather showcased prominent figures throughout portraits. This piece illustrates the two standing near one another as they pose for the artist. This piece belongs to an array of other portraits by the artist that include Self Portrait Saluting, Head Of A Young Woman, and Portrait Of James Tissot amount many others. This stunning piece manifests the masterful brilliance of Degas able to showcase many realms of art. Degas is not only confined to illustrating stunning ballerina paintings, but amount endless others.
The couple within the painting stand near one another. Edmond is showcased on the right as he is seated on a chair with his shoulders slightly slouched. He is dressed in a deep black suit jacket covering his clothing underneath. Degas uses meticulous detailing to showcase the folds and caverns throughout the man’s clothing. Near the bottom, the man is dressed in grey dress pants. Degas often enjoyed showcasing his male figures in a classic dark coat, with lighter coloured pants. He felt that this added greater contrast to the work rather than simply painting their attire in one colour. Small glimpse of the man’s white shirt pokes out at the collar, and at his sleeves. A small pattern is evident near the mamma neck where his tie is. The man’s body is overall centred, yet slightly to the side to add greater dimension to the piece. Rather than depicting him perfectly in the centre or to the side, Degas enjoys incorporating both.
The man’s eyes droop downwards as if he is about to fall asleep. He has a thin nose that is met by his moustache that transforms into a beard. The man’s face is coloured in creamy shades of yellow, slightly matching the wall behind him. It’s evident that he is slightly balding as the hairline near the side of his face is receding. Degas uses careful detailing to showcase the man’s face, alongside his hands. The viewer can see the bones poke out of his skin on his hands. His wife to his right is also seated in a chair, with her elbow on the table. The table cloth is coloured in a dark brown velvet colour with small swirling patterns. The woman is dressed in a lilac-lavender colour the hugs her body tightly. The folds in her dress mimic a silky texture that the viewer can almost feel. A small white fabric pokes out beneath the woman’s sleeve, as if she is wearing a white-collar shirt beneath.
The woman’s dress is decorated with black chiffon material near her shoulder and the cuffs on her dress. This adds greater element to her attire, rather than a simple lavender coloured dress. The woman’s face is directly centred as she looks into the viewer. Degas lightly shades the right side of her face as her husband’s shadow hits her. Alongside, he contours the side of the woman’s face to add greater form. Her eyes widen immensely as she stares to the side of the viewer, with her mouth slowly opening. It’s quite evident that the woman remains immensely shocked as she looks into the distance. She even holds her hand to her cheek clenching as she tries to understand what goes on. Yet, the husband sits calmly at her side, with his eyes dropping towards the floor.