Edgar Degas - The Tub 1886

The Tub 1886
The Tub
1886 70x70cm pastel/paper
Hill-Stead Museum, CT, United States

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From Hill-Stead Museum, CT, United States:
This work is one of the “Suite of nudes of women bathing, washing, drying, rubbing down, combing their hair or having it combed” that Degas created in preparation for the eighth and last exhibition of the Impressionists in 1886. Although it is not conclusive that The Tub was exhibited at that show, it is viewed today as one of the artist’s finest pastels. It is distinguished by his mastery at applying successive layers of pigment, his unconventional use of color whereby blues are as intense in the background as they are in the foreground, and his unusual bird’s eye view of a woman caught in an intimate moment as if, as Degas said, “… one were watching her through a keyhole.” This work, in its original Degas frame, was purchased by Mr. Pope in 1907 and was his last major art acquisition.