Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Woman Drying Her Arm

Artist:
Edgar Degas (French, Paris 1834–1917 Paris)
Date:
late 1880s–early 1890s
Medium:
Pastel and charcoal on light pink wove paper, discolored at the edges
Dimensions:
12 x 17 1/2in. (30.5 x 44.5cm) Frame: 17 1/8 x 22 7/8 x 1 7/8 in. (43.5 x 58.1 x 4.8 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Accession Number:
29.100.553
Not on view
This pastel is one of eighteen variants on the composition that Degas made in the late 1880s and early 1890s, a testament to his fascination with replicating and multiplying images. He also repeated forms within the scene: the model’s bent left leg closely echoes the shape and line of her extended arms.
Inscription: Signed (lower left): Degas
[Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1898–99; stock no. 4828; bought from the artist on November 25, 1898, for Fr 2,000; sold on July 19, 1899, for Fr 5,000 to Milliken]; E. F. Milliken, New York (1899; sold to Inglis); James S. Inglis, New York (1899–d. 1907; his estate, 1907–10; his estate sale, American Art Association, New York, March 10, 1910, no. 63, as "After the Bath," for $2,500 to Durand-Ruel for Havemeyer); Mrs. H. O. (Lousine W.) Havemeyer, New York (1910–d. 1929; cat., 1931, p. 132)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The H. O. Havemeyer Collection," March 10–November 2, 1930, no. 150 (as "Nude Drying Arm") [2nd ed., 1958, no. 121].

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Degas in the Metropolitan," February 26–September 4, 1977, no. 41 (of works on paper, as "Nude Drying Her Arm").

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Degas," September 27, 1988–January 8, 1989, no. 286.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection," March 27–June 20, 1993, no. A243 (as "Woman Drying Her Arm").

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Degas and the Nude," October 9, 2011–February 5, 2012, unnumbered cat. (fig. 186).

Vittorio Pica. "Artisti contemporanei: Edgar Degas." Emporium 26 (December 1907), ill. p. 412.

Julius Meier-Graefe. Degas. Munich, 1920, pl. 89 [English ed., 1923, pl. LXXXVIII], calls it "Nach dem Bade" and dates it about 1890.

H. O. Havemeyer Collection: Catalogue of Paintings, Prints, Sculpture and Objects of Art. n.p., 1931, p. 132, as "Nude Drying Arm".

P[aul]. A[ndré]. Lemoisne. Degas et son œuvre. [reprint 1984]. Paris, [1946–49], vol. 3, pp. 452–53, no. 794, ill., calls it "Femme s'essuyant" and dates it about 1884.

Louisine W. Havemeyer. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. New York, 1961, p. 261, mentions having bought this picture from Cottier and Company [James Inglis was the former president of Cottier and Co.; see Ref. Havemeyer 1993].

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, p. 90, ill., call it "Nude Drying Her Arm"; refer to this work as the final version of the composition, noting that several studies show the model facing either direction, but that all the known counterproofs, as well as the MMA picture, face right, indicating that the first depiction probably showed the figure facing left.

Fiorella Minervino in L'opera completa di Degas. Milan, 1970, pp. 126–27, no. 902, ill., dates it about 1884.

Roy McMullen. Degas: His Life, Times, and Work. Boston, 1984, pp. 275, 359, refers to a left-facing version in pastel [sic for this picture?], "and a number of preliminary studies in each direction, all apparently done around 1884".

Gary Tinterow in Degas. Exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris. New York, 1988, pp. 468–69, no. 286, ill. (color), calls it "Nude Woman Drying Her Arm" and dates it about 1887–89; notes that it is based on a counterproof taken from a charcoal drawing in a private collection, Paris (L793); lists eighteen related variants of this picture.

Richard Thomson. Degas: The Nudes. London, 1988, pp. 179, 183, fig. 178, calls it "Nude Drying Her Arm" and dates it about 1890–95; observes that in the mid-1890s Degas reworked variations of about a dozen stock poses of nudes.

Ettore Camesasca. The São Paulo Collection: From Manet to Matisse. Exh. cat., Rijksmuseum Vincent Van Gogh, Amsterdam. Milan, 1989, p. 78, ill., calls it "Woman Drying Herself" and dates it about 1888; illustrates eleven works related to this pastel.

Louisine W. Havemeyer. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. Ed. Susan Alyson Stein. 3rd ed. [1st ed. 1930, repr. 1961]. New York, 1993, pp. 257, 261, 337 n. 376, p. 339 n. 389.

Susan Alyson Stein in Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, pp. 254, 286.

Gretchen Wold in Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 336, no. A243, ill. p. 334, calls it "Woman Drying Her Arm".

George T. M. Shackelford in Degas and the Nude. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston, 2011, pp. 174, 213, 228, fig. 186 (color) [French ed., "Degas et le nu," Paris, 2012, pp. 200, 211, 244, 272 fig. 196 (color)], notes that it is a counterproof.



This pastel is one of eighteen variants of this composition that Degas made in the late 1880s and early 1890s.
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