(b. 1834, Paris, d. 1917, Paris)
Woman Combing Her Hair1887-90
Pastel on paper on cardboard, 87 x 57 cm
Musée d'Orsay, Paris
After 1880 Degas also explored the theme of women bathing. French artists devoted a significant part of their work to the praise of woman's beauty, albeit less in the nineteenth than in the eighteenth century. Unlike to his predecessors, Degas describes intimate scenes without intimacy, bodies without sensuality. The women bathing, washing, drying themselves, combing their hair or having it combed, are mainly seen from behind. They do not seem to heed the intimacy of the boudoir or bathroom scene. Degas's matter-of-fact depictions of woman was criticized by his contemporaries.