Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Woman Drying Her Foot

Artist:
Edgar Degas (French, Paris 1834–1917 Paris)
Date:
1885–86
Medium:
Pastel on buff wove paper, affixed to original pulpboard mount
Dimensions:
19 3/4 x 21 1/4 in. (50.2 x 54 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Accession Number:
29.100.36
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 817
In this pastel and another of 1885–86 (Musée d'Orsay, Paris) Degas explored the expressive potential of a bather doubled-up, snail-like, drying her foot. The blue, yellow, and green harmonies in the two works are typical of many of his bather pastels, but the hues here are more high-keyed.
Inscription: Signed (lower left): Degas
[probably Boussod, Valadon & Cie, Paris; to Havemeyer]; Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer, New York (by 1915–d. 1929; cat., 1931, pp. 128–29, ill., as "Nude—Après le bain," about 1887)
Paris. 1 Rue Laffitte. "8me exposition de peinture [8th Impressionist exhibition]," May 15–June 15, 1886, no. 19 or 20 (lent by M. E[mile?]. B[oussod?]., possibly this picture).

New York. M. Knoedler & Co. "Loan Exhibition of Masterpieces by Old and Modern Painters," April 6–24, 1915, no. 37 (as "After the Bath," 1887).

New York. Grolier Club. "Prints, Drawings and Bronzes by Degas," January 26–February 28, 1922, no. 48 (as "Après le Bain: Femme s'essuyant le Pied gauche").

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The H. O. Havemeyer Collection," March 10–November 2, 1930, no. 148 (as "After the Bath") [2nd ed., 1958, no. 115, as "After the Bath"].

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Impressionism: A Centenary Exhibition," December 12, 1974–February 10, 1975, not in catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Degas in the Metropolitan," February 26–September 4, 1977, no. 47 (of works on paper; as "Woman Drying Her Foot," 1886).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Degas," September 27, 1988–January 8, 1989, no. 272.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection," March 27–June 20, 1993, no. A241.

H. O. Havemeyer Collection: Catalogue of Paintings, Prints, Sculpture and Objects of Art. n.p., 1931, pp. 128–29, ill., as "Nude—Après le Bain"; dates it about 1887.

Louise Burroughs. "Degas in the Havemeyer Collection." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 27 (May 1932), p. 145.

P[aul]. A[ndré]. Lemoisne. Degas et son œuvre. [reprint 1984]. Paris, [1946–49], vol. 3, pp. 508–9, no. 875, ill., calls it "Après le bain" and dates it 1886; tentatively lists it in the 1886 Impressionist exhibition.

Ronald Pickvance. Letter to Margaretta M. Salinger. August 3, 1963, doubts its inclusion in the 1886 Impressionist exhibition.

Ronald Pickvance. Letter to Mary Ann W. Harris. June 14, 1964, based on stylistic grounds, doubts its inclusion in the 1886 Impressionist exhibition.

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. 89–90, ill., call it "Woman Drying Her Foot".

Alfred Werner. Degas Pastels. New York, 1968, p. 72, colorpl. 27, dates it 1886.

Fiorella Minervino in L'opera completa di Degas. Milan, 1970, p. 128, no. 926, ill., dates it about 1886.

Roy McMullen. Degas: His Life, Times, and Work. Boston, 1984, p. 377, considers it likely to have been shown in the 1886 Impressionist Exhibition.

Frances Weitzenhoffer. The Havemeyers: Impressionism Comes to America. New York, 1986, p. 255.

Martha Ward in The New Painting: Impressionism 1874–1886. Ed. Charles S. Moffett. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington. San Francisco, 1986, p. 443, lists it among works that may have been exhibited under nos. 19-28, Suite de nuds [sic] in the 1886 Impressionist exhibition.

Alexandra R. Murphy in Rafael Fernandez and Alexandra R. Murphy. Degas in the Clark Collection. Exh. cat., Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, Mass., 1987, p. 13, fig. H, dates it about 1890.

Gary Tinterow in Degas. Exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris. New York, 1988, pp. 448–49, no. 272, ill. (color), states that a Goupil label on the verso of this picture indicates that it was probably purchased by Havemeyer from Boussod-Valadon.

Carol Armstrong. Odd Man Out: Readings of the Work and Reputation of Edgar Degas. Chicago, 1991, p. 159, fig. 94, as "After the Bath (Woman Drying Her Foot)"; dates it 1886.

Patrick Bade. Degas. London, 1991, pp. 124–25, 143, ill. (color), calls it "Nude Woman Drying Her Foot" and dates it about 1885–86.

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.

Rebecca A. Rabinow in Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 95, notes that Mrs. Havemeyer lent it to Exh. New York 1915.

Gretchen Wold in Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, pp. 335–36, no. A241, ill. p. 334.

George T. M. Shackelford in Degas and the Nude. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston, 2011, pp. 147, 213, 226, fig. 155 (color) [French ed., "Degas et le nu," Paris, 2012, pp. 170, 244, 272, fig. 165 (color)], states that the artist chose not to include it in the 1886 Impressionist exhibition.



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