Portrait of Edgar Degas (French, Paris 1834–1917 Paris)
Etching on wove paper; first state of four
Plate: 9 1/16 x 5 11/16 in. (23 x 14.4 cm) Sheet: 10 11/16 x 7 in. (27.2 x 17.8 cm)
Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Richard J. Bernhard Gift, 1972
Not on view
Degas’s early study of printmaking led him to a close examination of Rembrandt’s etched portraits, including their shifts between more and less finished compositions. This exceptionally rare first state of the artist’s 1857 self-portrait has an evanescent quality, an effect that is reinforced by the complete lack of finish in the sitter’s hands and the drawing tools they hold, which are visible in later states.
Signature: Signed, lower left, in black chalk: Degas
Marking: Stamp of Marcel Guérin (Lugt 1872b), who purchased the print from Ambroise Vollard in 1910
Ambroise Vollard (French)(sold to Guerin 7/5/1910 for 4,000 FF); Marcel-Louis Guérin (French)(his sale Paris, Dec. 9, 1921, lot 103; 6200 Fr); Donor: Richard J. Bernhard (American)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," December 4, 1992–April 5, 2013.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Private Collection of Edgar Degas, MMA," October 1, 1997–January 11, 1998.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Rembrandt and Degas: Two Young Artists," February 22, 2012–May 20, 2012.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art [The Met Breuer]. "Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible," March 18–September 4, 2016.
Reed and Shapiro 8.i/iv
Colta Ives, Janet S. Byrne, Mary L. Myers, Suzanne Boorsch, Weston J. Naef, David W. Kiehl, The Metropolitan Museum of Art The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1965-1975: Prints, Architecture and Ornament. New York, 1975, p. 192, ill.
Felix Baumann, Marianne Karabelnik, Jean Sutherland Boggs Degas Portraits. Ex. cat. Kunsthaus Zürich, London, December 2, 1994- - June 18, 1995, cat. no. 28, pp. 168, 323, ill.
Jenny Reynaerts, Stella Versluis-Van Dongen "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: Edgar Degas Inspired by Rembrandt." The Rijksmuseum Bulletin. vol. 59, no. 2, 2011, p. 117, ill. fig. 12.