Edgar Degas Paintings

Portrait of Madame Edmondo Morbilli

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Edgar Degas had a lively feel throughout his work that has transcended art history through time.

Many to this day adore his Impressionism paintings, commonly depicting ballerinas and women. His work is often compared to that of Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet. Together, these artists impacted the Impressionism art movement significantly through time. The portrait of Madame Edmondo Morbilli belongs to a collection of captivating pieces by the artist. Other portraits with a similar aesthetic to them include Madame Camus With A Fan, Woman Seated On A Balcony, Elena Carafa, and Madame De Rutte. These stunning pieces are not the most prominent of the artist’s, yet are significant works of art.

The piece showcases a young woman as she stands posing for the viewer. It seems that Degas created the piece as the woman posed, rather than based on his imagination. As Degas is known for his off-centre pieces, this portrait follows in that direction. Yet again Degas created the perspective from the corner of the room, and also has the woman standing at an angle. This creates better dimension and a 3-D form rather than portraying the scene through a centre perspective. The woman stands gently to her right side, exposing the left side of her body. The captivating element of the piece is the bright yellow attire the woman is dressed in. A grand skirt fills the bottom half of her body towards the floor. The foundation of the piece is a yellow fabric, covered in endless strips and patterns of a white chiffon. This is used near the centre of the skirt to create symmetry, alongside at the bottom to create a few rows of fabric.

While the top part of the dress isn’t seen, the woman wears a cardigan over that covers her body. This tight yellow top part has similar white detailing that adds greater dimension to the piece. Similar white linear patterns fill the sleeves. Additionally, a thin white line holds the cardigan together at the waist. In the woman’s left arm, she holds what seems to resemble a dark hat. Yet, as Degas did not use immense detail, it is hard to truly distinguish what it is. It seems to also resemble either a purse of fan. It’s immensely interesting to witness the artist use exquisite detailing throughout the features of the woman’s attire, yet not for the accessory she holds onto.

The woman’s other hand is held upwards towards her face as she curls her fingers beneath her cheek. While her face is pointed slightly to the left, she stares directly at the viewer meeting their gaze. The woman is aware that the viewers are starring as she poses for them. The woman has a prominent nose alongside thick eyebrows. It seems as if her eyes are slightly distraught drooping downwards. An emotion of powers her face that seems to slightly resemble fear or worry. While Degas usually does not include immense detail through the background of his work, he was within the piece. Large golden picture frames and candle sticks fill the back wall. A deep red wall paper covers the wall alongside. The viewer is able to make out a few burgundy furniture pieces throughout the background. The most stunning element of the piece is the fact that Degas created it through the use of pastels. While it seems to resemble an oil painting, it is rather pastels that line the frame. This exquisite detailing proves the masterful technique of Edgar Degas.

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