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The Morning Bath remains part of an art collection by Edgar Degas in which the artist showcased a number of female nude figures bathing. Other pieces that belong to this collection include Woman At Her Toilette, Woman Having Her Hair Combed, and After The Bath.
These stunning pieces of work illustrates the artist’s fascination with the female body in it’s natural form bathing. The artist is well known for these stunning artworks, alongside his depiction of ballerinas. Some of his well known work showcasing the art of ballet include Green Dancer, Dance Class, and Dancers, Pink And Green. The stunning portrait of the nude woman preparing to take her morning bath is a classic example of the artist’s style. Degas enjoyed creating these pastel pieces in an Impressionism style with a hint of abstract. While we often enjoyed mixing colours and shapes into one another is a blending manner, he still often showcases immense detail and form.
The woman within the portrait is faced away from the viewer towards her bath tub. Her left leg goes in first while her right leg is placed behind her. Her hip is pushed towards the left as she turns to step in. This beautifully illustrates the curving body of the female form. Her left arm holds the rim of the tub to help her step in, while her right hand holds the wall for support. The artist does not use much detail to illustrate the woman’s body, and simply uses a patchy shade to colour in her nude body. A glimpse of yellow is used upon her backside to bring the viewer’s attention onto her stunning curves. Only a glimpse of the woman’s head is seen through her dark brown locks.
The artist does not spend much time showcasing the tub. Instead he uses chases of bluish greys and whites to colour it. In the woman’s left hand, the viewer is able to witness her holding onto a lavender towel. This piece of fabric is the warmest element of the painting. Yet, the artist still uses this colour to accentuate the white bed sheet right next to the tub. While today it is usually uncommon, the woman’s bed is located right next to her bath tub. Since the angle of this painting veers from the side, we are able to witness the strong profile of her bed near the corner. A white pillow with lavender hues is located near the top of the bed, while a light yellow blanket lays near the bottom.
To the right of the bathtub, a rich blue and black patterned curtain covers part of the tub. The artist uses a sponging technique to cover the curtain and create a rich pattern. The artist goes the extra step to carefully illustrate the texture of the curtain and the folds. Finally, one of the most captivating parts of the painting is the green wall behind the bath tub. The artist makes sure to showcase that the two walls meet at a corner to expose the angle the work is based on. Degas did not usually incorporate many side perspectives within his work. Rather, they were linear based, upon which he painted figures based on the way they meet the eye.
This painting’s side profile gives the illusion of someone starring at the woman from the side of her bed. It gives you the feeling as if the woman is unaware of the viewer looking at her enter the bath tub. The green wall is covered in white brush strokes that give the illusion of an abstract wall paper that covers the room. Small dabs of orange specs fill the wall in contrast. It is a key principle to notice that the left wall is covered in a darker shade, whereas the wall on the right is illuminated.