Woman with a Towel

Edgar Degas French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 817

Degas used his fingers, brushes, and sharp implements to smudge, scrape, and polish this pastel, creating a sense of movement and texture, and revealing layers of brilliant color. Black outlines drawn over the pastel emphasize the contrapposto turn of the muscular and monumental nude. The date Degas inscribed on the sheet has traditionally been read as 1894 but 1898 is more likely.

Woman with a Towel, Edgar Degas (French, Paris 1834–1917 Paris), Pastel on cream-colored wove paper with red and blue fibers throughout

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