The present work shows a well-dressed couple—likely members of the Parisian upper class—posing for the artist. The woman wears a ball gown of vibrant green with a fur accent. Degas captures the shimmer of the jewels on her necklace and tiara with careful application of white paint. Meanwhile, her companion, seated on a couch just behind, faces the viewer frontally, his crossed legs and composed demeanor accentuating his confidence. Degas paints the red ribbon which adorns the man’s neck in one quick brushstroke, while the sheen of a pendant on his lapel is conveyed through a few dabs of white paint.
Scène d'intérieur is in line with Degas’ series of couples, depicting the figures as psychologically distant from one another while sharing the same space. In their fine garb and measured composure, the two individuals succeed in displaying their wealth and status. Yet, beneath their air of dignity and grandeur, we see Degas’ deft ability to convey a sense of psychological vulnerability. The woman clutches aloofly at her necklace, while the man’s gaze carries with it a hint of loneliness.
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