Artist: Edgar Degas (French, Paris 1834–1917 Paris)
Date: ca. 1884
Medium: Pastel on light blue laid paper
Dimensions: 23 3/4 x 18 1/4 in. (60.3 x 46.4 cm)
Credit Line: Bequest of Stephen C. Clark, 1960
Accession Number: 61.101.7
A sale catalogue of 1898 evocatively described the performer pictured in this pastel: "Skinny and with the graceful moves of a little monkey, she has just sung her ribald verses and, with a gesture that conceals an entreaty behind her smile, is inviting applause." With her small eyes, high cheeks, and low brow, the model recalls Marie von Goethem, the working-class girl who posed for Degas’s sculpture The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer. The singer’s dress, rendered in vivid yellow, turquoise, and orange, reflects the artist’s experimentation with saturated hues and color contrasts in the mid-1880s.