Baigneuses (1895-1900)

Degas, Edgar (1834-1917)

Baigneuses (Bathers)
Pastel with charcoal underdrawing on paper, 59.1 × 73.7 cm
Barnes FoundationPhiladelphia

One of the things that made Degas such a radical artist was his approach to representing the human form. Here, rather than depict his figure as a whole, readable entity, Degas fragments the body, cutting off the long, crooked legs at the top and eclipsing the face; nor does he deliver traditional signs of sexuality. Though the setting is deliberately ambiguous, the scene probably takes place in a brothel. (BF)