This seems to be an independent work that was developed in two stages. It probably began as a pencil drawing on a smaller sheet of paper that was enlarged by adding strips of paper at the bottom and sides. Degas completed the portrait with diluted oil paint and touches of pastel. The identity of the sitter is unknown.
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Title:Woman on a Sofa
Artist:Edgar Degas (French, Paris 1834–1917 Paris)
Medium:Oil colors freely mixed with turpentine, with touches of pastel, over graphite underdrawing, on pink paper
Dimensions:19 1/8 x 16 3/4 in. (48.6 x 42.5 cm)
Credit Line:H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Inscription: Signed and dated (upper right): Degas 1875
Michel Manzi, Paris (until d. 1915); his widow, Charlotte Manzi, Paris (1915–16; sold on December 5, 1916 through Cassatt to Havemeyer); Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer, New York (1916–d. 1929; cat., 1931, p. 185, ill. p. 187)
New York. Grolier Club. "Prints, Drawings and Bronzes by Degas," January 26–February 28, 1922, no. 108 (as "Femme assise, en Robe verte").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The H. O. Havemeyer Collection," March 10–November 2, 1930, no. 161 [2nd ed., 1958, no. 136].
Washington. Phillips Memorial Gallery. "Loan Exhibition of Drawings & Pastels by Edgar Degas, 1834–1917," March 30–April 30, 1947, no. 14.
New York. Wildenstein. "Degas: Loan Exhibition for the Benefit of The Citizens' Committee for Children of New York, Inc.," April 7–May 7, 1960, no. 88.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Edgar Degas: The Reluctant Impressionist," June 20–September 1, 1974, no. 79.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Degas in the Metropolitan," February 26–September 4, 1977, no. 19 (of works on paper).
Paris. Galeries nationales du Grand Palais. "Degas," February 9–May 16, 1988, no. 140.
Ottawa. National Gallery of Canada. "Degas," June 16–August 28, 1988, no. 140.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Degas," September 27, 1988–January 8, 1989, no. 140.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection," March 27–June 20, 1993, no. A213.
LOAN OF THIS WORK IS RESTRICTED.
Harry B. Wehle. "The Exhibition of the H. O. Havemeyer Collection." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 25 (March 1930), p. 55.
H. O. Havemeyer Collection: Catalogue of Paintings, Prints, Sculpture and Objects of Art. n.p., 1931, p. 185, ill. p. 187.
P[aul]. A[ndré]. Lemoisne. Degas et son œuvre. [reprint 1984]. Paris, [1946–49], vol. 2, pp. 193–94, no. 363, ill.
Louisine W. Havemeyer. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. New York, 1961, pp. 265–66, describes the acquisition through Mary Cassatt of two paintings ("Mme Théodore Gobillard" and "The Dancing Class"; MMA 29.100.45, 29.100.184) plus this drawing, which the sellers "add to the bargain".
Jean Sutherland Boggs. Portraits by Degas. Berkeley, 1962, p. 48, pl. 82, calls it "Young Woman on a Sofa" and notes that the sitter is anonymous.
Fiorella Minervino inL'opera completa di Degas. Milan, 1970, pp. 104–5, no. 389, ill.
Theodore Reff. "The Technical Aspects of Degas's Art." Metropolitan Museum Journal 4 (1971), p. 149, fig. 12, considers it an example of Degas's exploitation of "chromatic contrasts between media".
Theodore Reff. Degas, The Artist's Mind. [New York], 1976, pp. 280, 282, 337 n. 30, fig. 195 (color).
Ian Dunlop. Degas. New York, 1979, pl. 151.
Frances Weitzenhoffer. The Havemeyers: Impressionism Comes to America. New York, 1986, p. 231.
Michael Pantazzi inDegas. Exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris. New York, 1988, p. 246, no. 140, ill. (color), asserts that this picture was probably not a study for a more finished work, based on the carefully rendered features of the woman and the absence of a related painting; suggests that it began as a pencil drawing on a sheet that was later added to along the bottom and sides, and continued with oil, essence, and ink.
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, 265–66, 337 n. 376, pp. 339–40 n. 397.
Susan Alyson Stein inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, pp. 271, 285, colorpl. 268.
Gretchen Wold inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, pp. 328–29, no. A213, ill.
Jean Sutherland Boggs inDegas Portraits. Exh. cat., Kunsthaus Zürich. London, 1994, p. 92 [German ed., "Degas Die Portraits"], calls it "Woman on a Divan".
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 452, ill.
The support consists of one sheet with narrow strips added at the bottom and sides. The sitter is unknown.
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