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Degas, Edgar (1834-1917)
Place de la ConcordeDate: 1875
Technique: Oil on canvas
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Original title: Viscount Lepic and his Daughters Crossing the Place de la Concorde
Dimensions: 78.4 x 117.5 cm
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-NapolÃ©on Lepic (1839-1885), an aristocrat, artist, engraver, and a Parisian flÃ¢neur. The painting displays movement, in several different directions at once. The Viscount strolls along unhurriedly - each detail corresponds precisely to the image of a flÃ¢neur. 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 flÃ¢neur, 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.
(from the museum's homepage)
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