Woman Combing Her Hair
The painting I have chosen is Woman Combing Her Hair by Edgar Degas. He was born on the 19th July, 1834 and he died on the 27th September, 1917.
This painting shows a woman combing her hair after bathing. The woman’s position is very interesting and peculiar. This picture is painted with soft pastel and Degas used primary and complementary colors. We can see the outlines to differentiate the background and the woman. We can also see light areas in the arms and some parts of the back and shadow areas in the low part of the back, her legs and some areas of the background. Degas mixed mahogany, black and brown colors in the woman’s hair, which contrast with the dark yellow background. The woman shows a little of movement in her arms while she is combing her hair. This pastel shows the force of form and color Degas wanted to display. The background has some brush-strokes of different colours, it is very colorful. This painting is made from a central perspective, but the body occupies the left part of the painting mainly.
Degas was a French artist famous for his works in painting, sculpture and drawing. Degas had a personal style, which connects with the great art of old painters, such as Ingres and Delacroix. He said: “I never adopted the impressionist stain of colour”. His scenes were about the Parisian life, eccentric compositions, experiments with colour and form and he was included in the impressionist movement. When he started to paint café life scenes, he changed his style and started to paint with a darker palette, live colours and intrepid brushstrokes.
He is identified with dancers and racecourses works, but in the mid-1870s Degas started to paint and draw women drying themselves with towels, combing their hair and bathing. He is considered to be an impressionist painter and he participated in seven impressionist exhibitions.
Degas wanted to show the external beauty of a woman. This is an impressionist painting because it has primary and complementary colors, lights change the color, there are different versions of the same theme (there are at least six similar paintings to this one) and it represents a scene of ordinary life.
All these pictures are from the same link: http://www.edgar-degas.org/the-complete-works-2-96-3-0.html
All these pictures are from this link: http://www.edgar-degas.org/the-complete-works-2-96-3-0.html
Comparison between different Degas’ works of art
If I compare this picture with other Degas’ works of art , I can say that this and five more paintings are special, because Degas painted dancers and racecourses, but he changed his theme and started to paint women after bathing, combing their hair, drying their neck, etc. I can also say that the last paintings he painted have more colours and they aren’t boring, because the first paintings about dancers he painted were too dark!
Racecourses by Degas.
Ballet Class by Degas
These are some of Degas ‘paintings.
My personal opinion
I like this painting by Degas very much, because when I saw it I felt something special which called my attention and it isn’t the typical landscape with a boat or nature.
I have looked for information on the following links:
- Oxford Pocket dictionary to look for some words that I didn’t know
- The World encyclopedia.