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Woman with a Towel by Edgar Degas
Woman with a Towel by Edgar Degas

Woman with a Towel, 1894

Edgar Degas

A muscular red-haired woman turns in a slightly contorted pose, ready to dry herself with a delicately draped towel. Black outlines drawn over pastel colors emphasize the strong form of her body. The towel she holds looks heavy and luxuriant, its sharp folds delineated with shadowy dark marks. A dreamy blue, shown in highlights on the model’s body, in the drapery, and throughout the hazy background infuses the image with mystery. The artist used his fingers, brushes, and sharp tools to smudge, scrape, and polish this pastel, creating a sense of movement and texture and revealing layers of brilliant color.

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