Marie Dihau (1843–1935)

Edgar Degas French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 815

Marie Dihau was a successful pianist and singer who lived in Lille but often came to Paris to perform. She recalled that Degas executed this portrait quickly at a restaurant. Shown in sharp profile, wedged between the remnants of a finished meal and a carpetbag, the sitter—a traveling musician whom Degas typically caught on the run—effectively makes a cameo appearance in this compelling character study. 

Her brother Désiré, a bassoonist for the Paris Opéra, is the second figure from the left in Degas’s The Ballet from "Robert le Diable" (29.100.552).

Marie Dihau (1843–1935), Edgar Degas (French, Paris 1834–1917 Paris), Oil on canvas

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