A young woman is shown absorbed in the task of creating a hat. She is surrounded by elaborate hats that she has made, but can never afford to buy. Degas found these objects of changing fashion fascinating to paint. He explored the theme of hats, their making, and purchase in at least fifteen pastels and oil paintings, all created during the early 1880s. We see the scene as if we were potential buyers, looking at the display of hats through the shop window.
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