Degas made this portrait sketch of the older sister of fellow painter Berthe Morisot (1841–1895) in the living room of the family home in Paris. Letters between the Morisot sisters and their mother recount its creation. Madame Morisot wrote to her third daughter Edma: "Do you know that Monsieur Degas is mad about Yves’s face, and that he is doing a sketch of her? . . . He is going to transfer onto the canvas what he did here in an album." The sitter, apparently pleased with Degas’s efforts, wrote: "The drawing that M. Degas made of me in the last two days is really very pretty, both true to life and delicate. . . . I doubt that he can transfer it onto the canvas without ruining it." The resulting unfinished painting (29.100.45) enlarges the composition by about fifty percent.
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Title:Study for “Madame Théodore Gobillard” (Yves Morisot)
Artist:Edgar Degas (French, Paris 1834–1917 Paris)
Medium:Graphite, squared, on buff tracing paper, mounted on laid paper
Dimensions:12 3/8 × 17 5/16 in. (31.5 × 44 cm)
Credit Line:Purchase, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, David T. Schiff Gift, and Gifts in memory of Joseph Thomas, 1984
Signature: Black chalk, lower left corner: Degas
Madame Théodore Gobillard; Jeanne Gobillard; Claude Valéry (French); Vendor: Wildenstein & Co., Inc.
Galerie Georges Petit, Paris. "Exposition Degas, Galerie Georges Petit, 1924," April 12, 1924–May 2, 1924.
Musée de l'Orangerie. "Degas, portraitiste, sculpteur," 1931.
Gazette des Beaux-Arts. "Degas dans les collections françaises," 1955.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "French Drawings Recently Acquired, 1975-1984," November 27, 1984–February 10, 1985.
Paris. Galeries nationales du Grand Palais. "Degas," February 9–May 16, 1988.
Ottawa. National Gallery of Canada. "Degas," June 16–August 28, 1988.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Degas," September 27, 1988–January 8, 1989.
Melbourne. NGV International. "Degas: A New Vision," June 24–September 18, 2016.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Picturing Math: Selections from the Department of Drawings and Prints," January 31–May 1, 2017.
MMA 1988. 88
Henri Rivière Les Dessins de Degas, reproduits en fac-simile. Première Série 1-50. vols. 1 and 2, Editions Demotte 1922-23; reprint 1973. Paris, 1922-23, cat. no. 57, fig. no. 57.
Paul-André Lemoisne Degas et son oeuvre. 4 vols + Suppl, Paris, 1946-1949, cat. no. 213.
Correspondance de Berthe Morisot avec sa famille et ses amis; Manet, Puvis de Chavannes, Degas, Monet, Renoir et Mallarmé. edited by Denis Rouart, Paris, 1950, p. 31.
Charles Sterling, Margaretta M. Salinger French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 3 vols., New York, 1955-1967, pp. 65-66.
Daniel Wildenstein "Degas dans les collections françaises." in Gazette des Beaux-Arts. Paris, 1955, cat. no. 33, p. 12, ill.
Jean Sutherland Boggs Portraits by Degas. Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1962, fig. no. 63, p. 27, ill.
Louise Burroughs "Degas Paints a Portrait." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 21, no. 5, New York, January 1963, fig. no. 3, pp. 170-172, ill.
Degas's Drawings. Dover Books, Collections of Fine Art, New York, 1973, fig. no. pl. 16, ill.
Theodore Reff The Notebooks of Edgar Degas. vol. 1, Oxford, 1976, p. 2.
Jacob Bean "Curatorial Reports and Departmental Accessions: Drawings." Annual Report of the Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, July 1, 1983 - June 30, 1984. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 114, New York, 1984, pp. 23, 24, ill.
Jacob Bean Notable Acquisitions, 1983-1984: Drawings. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1984, p. 73, ill.
Jean Sutherland Boggs, Douglas Druick, Henri Loyrette, Michael Pantazzi, Gary Tinterow Degas. Ex. cat.: Paris, Ottawa, MMA, 1988-1989. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Réunion des Musées Nationaux, National Museums of Canada, New York and Ottawa, 1988-89, cat. no. 88, p. 151, ill.
Henri Loyrette, National Gallery of Victoria Degas: A New Vision. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2016, pp.51-52, 273, ill.
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