Interior (The Rape)
Also known as The Rape, this painting has posed a conundrum for art historians since its creation. During the time it was painted, Degas was known for historical paintings or those with a literary influence, but no such influence or historical story can be related Interior. The most wide agreement is that the painting refers to a scene in the novel Therese Raquin, by Emile Zola, published in 1867. It is referred to as one of the most dramatic and theatrical of all of Degas’ compositions, as the items in the room are placed almost as props and the depiction of the characters had a stage-like, theatrical quality.