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Currently on view at: Getty Center, Museum West Pavilion, Gallery W104
Sketches of Café Singers
Edgar Degas (French, 1834 - 1917)
24.8 x 33 cm (9 3/4 x 13 in.)
Edgar Degas experimented by showing the robust curves of café singers from various angles. On the left, a popular singer named Mademoiselle Dumay reaches down to an invisible audience, while a cluster of gaslights surrounds her head like a
Degas was fascinated by the play of light over forms and generally chose to show the figures in his works under artificial rather than natural light. The glowing globes behind the head of Mademoiselle Dumay emphasize the whiteness of her face and her dark hair. Degas smudged the charcoal around her breasts and arms to suggest darker areas of shadow. He also used lines of parallel hatching around the singer to give the impression of greater depth to her body. The artist used this single figure as the basis for a