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Image of 'Combing the Hair ('La Coiffure')' by Degas, about 1896.

'Combing the Hair ('La Coiffure')' by Degas, about 1896

This painting depicts a maid combing the hair of a young woman, one of the artist's favourite subjects in his later years. It is based on several drawings and an earlier pastel. The bold treatment of the subject and limited range of colour are typical of Degas's works of this period. The curtain pulled up in the top left-hand corner gives the painting a dramatic feeling for such a domestic setting. Some of the objects on the table are only sketched in, allowing us to speculate on what they might be.

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