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Comparison between Edgar Degas and Edward Hopper’s approach to nudes

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  1. Introduction
  2. Two different people
    1. Degas: (1834-1917)
    2. Hopper: (1882-1967)
  3. An influence hidden behind big differences
    1. Big differences
    2. Undeniable influence of Degas in Hopper's work
  4. Conclusion
  5. Bibliography

American art of the 20th century is richer than one can think. The Ash can school, cubism, precisionism , biomorphism etc One of the big movements was regionalism, of which Edward Hopper was a leader. But people often forget that Hopper not only painted landscapes, street scenes and light but also nudes. Naked women were not just objects on which light reflected itself; they were real entities that deserved to be studied. One can find in them Degas's inspiration; let's take a closer look. Born in France, Degas studied art at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. After that, he went to Italy where he stayed for five years studying and copying meticulously the old masters of the Renaissance. His decision to study the old masters was typical of his personality - that of a perfectionist. His favorite subjects were scenes from the world of entertainment and later from everyday life.

[...] Even for The tub, it lightens the back of the lady but we can see that it is to underline the curves of it, its lines, its muscles In Hopper's work, the light falls on the front of the person and we can trace the source of it: the window. The View: Both focus on the body but in different ways. Degas uses a close up view, with a warm and blurred background. On the opposite, Hopper has a distant view; but he compensates it with the spaces' emptiness in which women are represented (except for Reclining Nude). [...]


[...] We get used to seeing lines, and angles in his works. Here, he follows Degas on curves. But still, one can tell that it is his masterpiece and not Degas's. The colors used are brighter, bolder; Degas uses mainly shades of red. The space is empty so that the audience focuses on the body. On the other hand , Degas's Reclining Nude has more elements that disturb the eye, such as the lamp. Therefore, in spite of the same name and the obvious influence of Degas, Hopper's Reclining Nude is unique. [...]

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