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Edgar Degas Gallery     Prints.     Full biography.
Edgar Degas (1834-1917)
Degas was born and died in Paris. He is buried at the cemetery of Montmartre. He entered the École des Beaux-Arts and visited Rome and Florence. From 1865 to 1870 he exhibited each year at the Paris Salon. He also exhibited with the Impressionists. Degas assimilated into his mature style English art and Japanese prints. He acquired his enduring reputation as a "painter of dancers" and also painted the café-concert, laundry women, bathers, jockeys and milliners. From the mid-1870's he worked with pastels. He was also a gifted sculptur. He struggled with failing vision and blindness at the end of his life.
Self-Portrait
Millinery Shop
Interior with Two Figures
After the Bath
Toilet of a Woman
Race Horses
Milliners

Viewer

Interior with Two Figures
Degas, Edgar.
Oil on canvas. 59.5x73.2 cm
France. 1869
Source of Entry:   formerly in the collection of Friedrich Siemens, Berlin.
Transferred from Germany after World War II


The dating and subject of this picture has been a matter of dispute. It has been suggested that it is a double portrait. According to some other opinion it is also quite possible that Degas could have proceeded from some literary basis.

In all likelihood, the picture represents a boudoir in a wealthy household. The personages' costumes are unusual for an interior: the couple is dressed for a walk or a visit, but for some reason they are lingering inside or perhaps they have just arrived. They do not communicate and are moved apart from each other. The fact that the scene takes place in a boudoir makes it all the more dramatic and psychologically complex. Other elements of the interior probably give a hint at this situation: the fire is an emblem of passion, while the empty window is a sign of the man's blank indifference.

The hidden conflict of the picture is most likely related to the artist's understanding of the problematics of the sex. His attitude toward women was far from simple and he remained a bachelor his whole life.
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