Edgar Degas

Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Edgar Degas
Landscape, Painting, Oil on canvas, 78.4x117.5 cm
Origin: France, 1875

This painting is known under two titles. On the one hand, it is a portrait of Viscount Lepic and his two daughters; on the other hand, it is a scene of Parisian life in which the cityscape plays an active role.

The chief figure in the picture is Ludovic-Napoléon Lepic , an aristocrat, artist, engraver, and a Parisian flâneur. Viscount Lepic and his two daughters are crossing the Place de la Concorde, with the Tuileries behind a stone wall. The painting displays movement, in several different directions at once. The Viscount strolls along unhurriedly - each detail corresponds precisely to the image of a flâneur. Both girls are entirely independent and seem to be going a completely different way. Some commentators see the children as a means of emphasizing the studied indifference of the flâneur, a person who always preserves self-possession, observing instead of taking part.

A number of recent commentators see the expansiveness of the painting as the result of the influence of photography. But the whole history of photography shows that it did not overtake painting but followed behind it.

Style: Impressionism
Source of entry: formerly in the collection of Otto Gerstenberg, later his daughter's, Margarete Scharf, Berlin
Exibition: French Painting: 19th - 20th centuries
Transferred from Germany after World War II

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