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Audio Stop 419

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Shown from about the hips up, a woman whose pale face is deep in shadow stands with her back to us, wearing a black and gray dress and hat, in front of a colorful but loosely painted, indistinct background in this nearly square painting. She stands just to our right of center with her elbows bent, perhaps to clasp her hands in front of her. Her head is turned slightly towards us so we see the line of her forehead, nose, and chin almost in profile facing our left. Her auburn hair seems to be pulled up under a black hat that sits on the back of her head. Her high-necked, charcoal-gray vest-like bodice has a line of white at the neck, suggesting lace or an undershirt. The bodice covers a black shirt with ruffles that fall at least to her elbows, and the long dress drapes close along the contours of her legs. She looks to the far wall, which is painted with sketchy, visible brushstrokes in marigold orange, lemon-lime green, brown, black, and pale yellow to create the impression of paintings in gold frames. The artist signed the painting in dark red in the lower right corner: “Degas.”

Edgar Degas

Woman Viewed from Behind (Visit to a Museum), c. 1879-1885

West Building, Main Floor - Gallery 86

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