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Edgar Degas was a prominent painter of the 19th century that focusing on portraying the social setting of the Parisian upper-class lifestyle during the era.
While Degas is most known for his ballerina portraits of young dancers, he enjoyed producing other paintings in different styles. A Portrait Of A Young Lady In Grey belongs to a collection of portraits Degas occasionally painted. While it is unaware whether Degas was commissioned or simply captivated, these stunning art pieces have charmed viewers for centuries. The piece potrays a young women seated to the side as she looks into the viewer. The piece highly resembles some of the other works by Degas, such as Head Of A Young Woman, Madame Gobillard Yves Morisot, Woman Seated On A Balcony, and, Madame Camus With A Fan. These stunning pieces were portrayed in the impressionism style Degas is most known for, with glimpses of realist characteristics.
The artist refused to refer to his work as Impressionism as he preferred to be known as a realist artist. Yet, Degas is most known for being one of the early pioneers of the Impressionism movement that influenced the immense change in art. Other artists with a similar style to Degas include Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, and Edouard Manet. These artists had a significant impact on the art movement in Paris at the time as they added a new touch to realism and Baroque. The young lady in the portrait is dressed in a pastel light blue shade, based in a white colour. Degas uses hints of green throughout her dress to create a small contrast in the colour. The tone of the dress slightly looks similar to a cool grey tone, covering her body. Degas is most known for being a masterful artist able to integrate endless textures and characteristics when painting fabrics.
Some of the most stunning paintings Degas created the illustrate endless fabric textures include Dancers Backstage, Madame De Rutte, and Dancer In Her Dressing Room. It is absolutely brilliant how delicate the artist's brushwork was to showcase the details of any fabric. The artist's best techniques were used when he showcased sheer chiffon fabrics as they reflected the garments underneath. This is most commonly seen in the fabric of the romantic tutus the artist's ballerinas wore. As the Portrait Of A Young Lady is based in an Impressionism style, Degas does not go into too much detail. However, he does include gentle hints of texture throughout the fabric. Near the womanÕs shoulders, it is evident that small caverns fill the fabric to illustrate the material folding. A similar technique is used near the bottom of the skirt to showcase it falling towards the floor.
These gentle folds add incredible texture and dimension to the work rather than a smooth fabric as seen on the sleeves of the woman. Degas adored going the extra step and showcasing these woman's attire in the best light possible. He greatly understood the importance of detail through each part of the painting to truly bring it together as one. The woman wears a black hat on her head that ties towards her neck in a large bow. This black fabric falls towards her lap in a carbon colour, hiding any details to be seen. The womanÕs posture is gently bent forward, alluding to the fact that she was indeed sitting for hours upon hours as the artist painted her. Upon closer inspection, a small pink flower is tucked in her head. The woman gently smiles as she accepts the viewer's presence looking into her. It is this welcoming touch that gives warmth to the cool tones throughout the piece.