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Quite often, Edgar Degas would manifest portrait pieces throughout his work if he felt the desire to.
Some of his most prominent portrait pieces include Madame Camus With A Fan, Woman Seated On A Balcony, and Madame De Rutte. These stunning portraits illustrate the lively grace and presence of woman. Degas felt a significant calling to showcase female beauty and form throughout his work, rather than illustrating men. Edgar Degas is most famously known for his endless work showcasing ballerinas performing on stage, and the behind the scene moments. Some of these famous paintings include Blue Dancers, Ballerinas Adjusting Their Dresses, Dancers In Pink, and Dancer Tilting. These ballerina pieces had gained Degas the famous title of the artist who adored painting ballerinas. Other artists with a similar style to Degas include Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, and Edgar Degas. All of these artist’s had a significant desire to veer away from the classic style of realism and find a new more modern style, now known as impressionism. These artists had pioneered art movement into a new captivating style that was highly frowned upon at the time.
The portrait of Madame Gobillard, Yves Morisot, showcases a young woman seated to her side as she stares off into the unknown distance. The woman is seated to her right side as she leans her body in the couch. She is pressed against a pillow while she throws the rest of her body towards the floor. The woman is dressed in a dark ruffled down that falls towards the floor. Endless layers of fabric are layering upon one another in an endless pattern. The ruffles continue towards the woman’s chest in which they line the shoulders. Near the upper chest of the woman, a sheer brown fabric covers her chest with buttons falling down the centre. Small glimpse of a dark collar is showcased.
This sheer fabric continues downwards towards the woman’s sleeves, at which her bare hands meet the canvas. The woman’s hands gently meet one another as her fingers lightly interlock. While the piece is an oil on canvas, the lack of detailing seems to resemble a more pastel on paper portrait. Yet, Degas always used oil colours to showcase any figures throughout his portraits. The woman is slightly bent forward, as her long neck meets her jaw. As the woman looks to her left, the viewer is left with a side profile of her face. It is quite evident that the woman is aware of both the artist and the viewer. She gently poses for the viewer, as she pretends that rather no one is there. Her strong jaw is showcased through a wonderful contour of her face.
It is evident that Degas placed a light source to the right of the painting that gently illuminated the figure within. The woman’s face is lightened as she looks into the distance, most likely a large window. Her hair is gently placed in an up do, while pieces still fall towards her back. A few ruffled curls line her face adding greater dimension. Degas gently showcased the woman’s face in a light colour of white and yellow. The setting of the piece is based in doors. Endless beige couches fill the room creating a luxurious feel. On the back wall, the viewer is able to locate a grand painting that hangs on the wall. Yet, based on the lack of material and detailing, it is difficult for the viewer to make out what exactly is painted. Behind the woman, a large doorway opens into another room. The viewer can see yet another door open to the outside. A small glimpse of vegetation is seen.