Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Self-Portrait

Artist:
Edgar Degas (French, Paris 1834–1917 Paris)
Date:
ca. 1855–56
Medium:
Oil on paper, laid down on canvas
Dimensions:
16 x 13 1/2 in. (40.6 x 34.3 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Bequest of Stephen C. Clark, 1960
Accession Number:
61.101.6
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 815
At the start of his career, Degas produced some forty self-portraits in various media. This likeness dates to about 1855–56, when the young artist quit his formal training at the École des Beaux-Arts and set off for an extended sojourn in Italy. It reflects Degas's awareness of the self-portraiture of Rembrandt, Ingres, and Delacroix.
the artist, Paris (until d. 1917); his brother, René de Gas, Paris (1917–d. 1926); his daughter, Odette de Gas and her husband, Rolland Wilhelm, called Roland Nepveu-Degas, Paris (1926–her d. 1932); Roland Nepveu-Degas, Paris (from 1932; presumably sold to Salz); [Sam Salz, New York, until 1950; sold on April 20 to Clark]; Stephen C. Clark, New York (1950–d. 1960)
Paris. Musée de l'Orangerie. "Degas: portraitiste, sculpteur," July 19–October 1, 1931, no. 1 (as "Portrait de Degas en blouse d'atelier," lent by M. et Mme N.D.).

Paris. Galerie Charpentier. "Scènes et figures parisiennes," 1943, no. 70 (as "Portrait de Degas, par lui-même, en blouse d'atelier").

New York. M. Knoedler & Co. "A Collectors Taste: Selections from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen C. Clark," January 12–30, 1954, no. 7 (as "Degas par lui-même").

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paintings from Private Collections: Summer Loan Exhibition," July 7–September 7, 1959, no. 28 (as "Portrait of the Artist," lent by Stephen C. Clark).

New Haven. Yale University Art Gallery. "Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture Collected by Yale Alumni," May 19–June 26, 1960, no. 49 (as "Self Portrait," lent by Stephen C. Clark).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "French Paintings from the Bequest of Stephen Clark," October 17, 1961–January 7, 1962, no catalogue (as "Portrait of the Artist").

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Degas in the Metropolitan," February 26–September 4, 1977, no. 1 (of paintings).

Richmond. Virginia Museum. "Degas," May 23–July 9, 1978, no. 1.

Yokohama Museum of Art. "Treasures from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: French Art from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century," March 25–June 4, 1989, no. 89.

Fort Lauderdale. Museum of Art. "Corot to Cézanne: 19th Century French Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," December 22, 1992–April 11, 1993, no catalogue.

Kunsthaus Zürich. "Degas Portraits," December 2, 1994–March 5, 1995, no. 16.

Williamstown, Mass. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. "The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings," June 4–September 4, 2006, no. 77.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920," February 4–May 6, 2007, no. 63.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings," May 22–August 19, 2007, no. 77.

Glen Falls, N. Y. Hyde Collection. "Degas & Music," July 12–October 18, 2009, no. 1.

Amsterdam. Rijksmuseum. "Rembrandt & Degas: Twee jonge kunstenaars," July 1–October 23, 2011, no catalogue.

Williamstown, Mass. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. "Rembrandt & Degas: Two Young Artists," November 13, 2011–February 5, 2012, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Rembrandt and Degas: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man," February 23–May 20, 2012, no catalogue.

P[aul]. A[ndré]. Lemoisne. Degas et son œuvre. [reprint 1984]. Paris, [1946–49], vol. 1, pp. 14, 20; vol. 2, opp. p. 1, under no. 2, p. 2, under no. 5, p. 4, under no. 11, pp. 6–7, no. 12, ill., calls it "Degas en blouse d'atelier" and dates it about 1856.

Stuart Preston. "Metropolitan Museum Displays Paintings and Drawings Received in 1960." New York Times (October 17, 1961), p. 47.

Jean Sutherland Boggs. Portraits by Degas. Berkeley, 1962, pp. 9, 87 n. 36, p. 105, calls it "Degas in a Smock" and dates it 1855–56.

Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 3, XIX–XX Centuries. New York, 1967, pp. 56–57, ill., date this picture toward the end of 1854, based on its resemblance to another self-portrait which they date between September and December 1854 (formerly Ganay collection, now private collection; L2); observe in it the influence of Dutch seventeenth-century pictures.

Fiorella Minervino in L'opera completa di Degas. Milan, 1970, p. 91, no. 117, ill., dates it about 1856.

Charles S. Moffett. Degas: Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1979, p. 5, colorpl. 1, dates it 1854 in the text and 1854–56 in the caption.

Ronald Pickvance. Edgar Degas: 1834–1917. Exh. cat., David Carritt. London, 1983, unpaginated, under no. 1, dates it 1856 and notes the close similarity between this picture and the drawing in the Thaw collection, which he dates before Degas's first visit to Italy in 1856.

Philippe Brame and Theodore Reff. Degas et son oeuvre: A Supplement. New York, 1984, p. 32, under no. 29, date it about 1856.

Charles S. Moffett. Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1985, pp. 11, 50–51, 250, ill. (color), dates it 1854.

Götz Adriani. Degas: Pastels, Oil Sketches, Drawings. Exh. cat., Kunsthalle Tübingen. New York, 1985, pp. 25, 105 n. 70, p. 343, under no. 29, notes that the Thaw drawing may be a study for this picture.

Gary Tinterow in Treasures from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: French Art from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century. Exh. cat., Yokohama Museum of Art. [Tokyo?], 1989, p. 143, no. 89, ill. (color), dates it 1854.

Roger Hurlburt. "Free Spirits." Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale) (December 20, 1992), p. 4D.

Helen Kohen. "Lasting Impressions." Miami Herald (December 20, 1992), p. 6I.

Tobia Bezzola in Degas Portraits. Exh. cat., Kunsthaus Zürich. London, 1994, pp. 319–20, no. 16, ill. pp. 167 (color) and 319, dates it about 1856.

Andrea Kirsh and Rustin S. Levenson. Seeing Through Paintings: Physical Examination in Art Historical Studies. New Haven, 2000, pp. 65, 67, fig. 72.

Kathleen M. Morris in The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings. Exh. cat., Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, Mass., 2006, p. 115, fig. 100 (color).

Sarah Lees in The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings. Exh. cat., Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, Mass., 2006, pp. 315, 322, no. 77, dates it possibly 1854.

Gary Tinterow in The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 92, 205, no. 63, ill. (color and black and white).

Jill DeVonyar and Richard Kendall. Degas & Music. Exh. cat., Hyde Collection. Glens Falls, N. Y., 2009, pp. 41, 130, no. 1, fig. 1 (color).

Jenny Reynaerts and Stella Versluis-Van Dongen. "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: Edgar Degas Inspired by Rembrandt." Rijksmuseum Bulletin 59, no. 2 (2011), pp. 118, 124, fig. 16 (color).



A closely related drawing, possibly a study for this portrait, is in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene V. Thaw, New York.

Date changed from ca. 1854 to ca. 1855–56 by SAS/GT (4/4/11).
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