About This Artwork

Edgar Degas
French, 1834–1917

Auguste Degas, c. 1859

Graphite, with touches of stumping, on buff laid paper with red and brown inclusions
339 x 259 mm

Gift of Dorothy Braude Edinburg to the Harry B. and Bessie K. Braude Memorial Collection, 2013.920

Family portraits dominated Edgar Degas’s output in the 1850s. Before his departure for Italy in 1856 (and again, on his return in 1859), he depicted his brothers and sisters; during his time abroad he turned his attention to his grandfather, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Although Degas lived in the family house for the spring and summer of 1859, this is the only known formal portrait of his father from those early years. Stylistically, the work owes much to the restrained draftsmanship of Ingres, whom Degas met and admired in his student days. The use of shading, however, softens the facial features and lends a surprising sensuality.

— Exhibition label, The Thrill of the Chase: Drawings from the Harry B. and Bessie K. Braude Memorial Collection, March 15–June 15, 2013, Galleries 124–127.

Interpretive Resources

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