After the Bath, Woman drying herself

Degas began to create pastels of women washing themselves around 1876-77, and created another series of similar works in the 1880s. Degas exhibited seven such intimate works at the final Impressionist exhibition in 1886, titling the series of works “Suite of female nudes, bathing, washing, drying themselves, wiping themselves, combing their hair or having their hair combed,” which incited harsh criticism. Here a woman sits atop white towels that have been spread over a chair, and a bathtub sits in the background. Degas uses the medium of pastel to create movement and dimension in the work through the ability of pastels to blur. The artist created this work on multiple pieces of paper that are mounted on cardboard, for Degas most likely changed his plan for the work while working on it.

Creator: Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas

Date: about 1890-5

Original Medium: Pastel on wove paper laid on millboard

Original Size: 103.5 x 98.5 cm

Location: National Gallery London