History And Context

Degas’s oeuvre is full of images of women grooming themselves. In the absence of a male audience, implied or seen, his nudes are unselfconscious in stance and gesture. Degas loved the awkward poses captured by snapshots, and these informed his vision of the private world of women. In After the Bath, a woman steps out of her tub and toward a maid with waiting towel. Balancing on her left leg, the bather stabilizes herself by placing her left arm on a chair as she steps out of the bath. The intimacy of the scene is accentuated by its composition, the simple setting—a tub, a couple of chairs, a screen, and some fabrics—sumptuously rendered in orange, pink, and gold set off by intense blues, surrounding the figure like the entrance to a grotto.

More Works by Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas In the Collection

La Répétition au foyer de la danse
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas
ca. 1870-ca. 1872
Dancers at the Barre
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas
ca. 1900
Seated Violin Player
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas

Women Combing Their Hair
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas
ca. 1878-ca. 1876
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas
late 1860s
After the Bath
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas
ca. 1895