The Breakfast

Edgar Degas (French, 1834 - 1917)

circa 1885. Oil on canvas, 15 5/16 x 11 7/16". 1991.001.008

Among Edgar Degas’s most memorable pictures are intimate scenes of women bathing or performing other personal rituals. A master draftsman, Degas explored with intensity and pleasure the potential of pastel for spontaneous, sensuous expression. In this work, Degas captured the model in the act of sipping from a cup, with her face turned away and her body relaxed. He has achieved a mood of quiet reverie, placing the viewer discreetly behind the model, looking down at her.

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