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About This Artwork
Etching in black on ivory laid paper
232 x 143 mm (image/plate); 324 x 233 mm (sheet)
Inscribed recto, lower left, in graphite: "Degas par lui- (?)- 23 ans 1857"; inscribed verso, lower right, in graphite: "26812"
Joseph Brooks Fair Collection, 1932.1294
Prints and Drawings
Not on Display
A work of surprising sophistication for a relatively young practitioner of the art, this etching was clearly inspired by the early graphic self-portraits of Rembrandt. Degas gleaned from the Baroque master his capacity to create an atmosphere from which a convincing presence emerges.
This probing self-appraisal was made when the artist was only twenty-three years old. The maturity of Degas’s gaze is matched by the sophistication of his technique. He has printed this etching with a personalized, rich wiping of the plate that anticipates his later work in monotypes.
Chicago, Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, An Exhibition of Etchings by Edgar Degas, May 4-July 12, 1964, n.p., cat. 9 (ill.).
The Art Institute of Chicago, "Degas in The Art Institute of Chicago," July 19-September 23, 1984, pp. 25-26, cat. 5 (ill.), cat. by Richard R. Brettell and Suzanne Folds McCullagh.
The Art Institute of Chicago, May 7, 1987-May 19, 1991 (Allerton gallery 202A).
The Art Institute of Chicago, "Van Dyck, Rembrandt and the Portrait Print", March 5 - August 7, 2016, pp. 58-59, fig. 22 (ill.), cat. 126, cat. by Victoria Sancho Lobis and Maureen Warren.
Loys Delteil, Le peintre-graveur illustré 9 (Paris, 1919), n.p., no. 1 III/V.
P. A. Lemoisne, Degas et son oeuvre I (Paris, 1946), p. 18.
Jean Sutherland Boggs, Portraits by Degas (Berkeley, 1962), pp. 10-11, pl. 16.
Paul Moses, An Exhibition of Etchings by Edgar Degas (Chicago, 1964), no. 9.
Jean Adhémar and Françoise Cachin, Edgar Degas: gravures et monotypes (Paris, 1973), pp. XL-XLI, no. 13 III/V.
Roger Passzion, Impressionist Prints (New York, 1974), p. 62.
Sue Welsh Reed and Barbara Stern Shapiro, Edgar Degas: The Painter as Printmaker (Boston, 1984), pp. 23-25, no. 8a III/IV.
Michio Shiraishi, Kazouo Uemura, Kouji Takada, Practice of Painting (Maruzen Company Ltd, 2002).
Alexis Hubert Rouart (1839-1911), Paris [his stamp, recto, Lugt suppl. 2187a]. Roger Marx (1859-1913), Paris; sold, Paris, April 26-May 2, 1914. Sold by Marcel Guiot, Paris, to the Art Institute, 1932.