Marie van Goethem, who posed for Degas's sculpture The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer, was the model for these two fine studies of a dancer adjusting her shoulder strap. Degas often used commercially coated paper for his drawings of dancers; this sheet retains its original color.
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Artist:Edgar Degas (French, Paris 1834–1917 Paris)
Medium:Charcoal and white chalk on green commercially coated wove paper
Dimensions:25 1/8 x 19 1/4 in. (63.8 x 48.9 cm)
Credit Line:H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Inscription: Signed (lower left): Degas
?[Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1882; stock no. 2184 as "Danseuses"; bought from the artist on January 26, 1882, for Fr 500; sold on August 31, 1882, for Fr 800 to Deschamps]; ?Charles W. Deschamps, London (1882–90; sold on June 30, 1890, for Fr 800 to Durand-Ruel); ?[Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1890–93; stock no. 567; sent on November 29, 1893 to Durand-Ruel, New York]; ?[Durand-Ruel, New York, 1893–94; stock no. 1105; sold on January 16, 1894 to Havemeyer]; ?Mr. and Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, New York (1894–his d. 1907); Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer, New York (?1907, definitely by 1922–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. 60 (as "Deux danseuses, vues de dos").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The H. O. Havemeyer Collection," March 10–November 2, 1930, no. 156 [2nd ed., 1958, no. 135].
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Degas in the Metropolitan," February 26–September 4, 1977, no. 31 (of works on paper).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Degas," September 27, 1988–January 8, 1989, no. 225.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection," March 27–June 20, 1993, no. A229.
Omaha. Joslyn Art Museum. "Degas and the Little Dancer," February 7–May 3, 1998, no. 35.
LOAN OF THIS WORK IS RESTRICTED.
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. 338–39, no. 599, ill., dates it about 1880.
Lillian Browse. Degas Dancers. New York, , p. 369, pl. 92, calls it "Deux études d'une danseuse debout" and dates it about 1878–80; notes its relationship to the sculpture "The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer," suggesting that Degas contemplated using this pose for the sculpture.
Theodore Reff. The Notebooks of Edgar Degas: A Catalogue of the Thirty-Eight Notebooks in the Bibliothèque Nationale and Other Collections. Oxford, 1976, vol. 1, pp. 132–33 (notebook 29, p. 25; notebook 30, pp. C, 1), catalogues three studies for this picture and reproduces two of them (vol. 2, Nb. 29, p. 25; Nb. 30, p. 1).
Charles S. Moffett. Degas in the Metropolitan. Exh. brochure, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1977, p. , no. 31, dates it about 1880.
Frances Weitzenhoffer. "The Creation of the Havemeyer Collection, 1875–1900." PhD diss., City University of New York, 1982, p. 225, refers to the Havemeyers' purchase of a Degas drawing of dancers on January 16, 1894, possibly this picture.
George T. M. Shackelford. Degas: The Dancers. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1984, pp. 70, 72–73, fig. 3.1, dates it about 1880; identifies the figure as Marie van Goethem, the model for the sculpture "The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer"; places it among a series of drawings related to, and most likely preceding, the sculpture.
Frances Weitzenhoffer. The Havemeyers: Impressionism Comes to America. New York, 1986, p. 98.
Gary Tinterow inDegas. Exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris. New York, 1988, p. 376.
Michael Pantazzi inDegas. Exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris. New York, 1988, pp. 348–49, no. 225, ill. (color), dates it about 1879; calls this and another drawing of three nude studies (fig. 161; private collection, Paris) the only indication that Degas may have considered a different pose for the "Little Dancer" sculpture; comments that "the relationship of the drawing to the sculpture remains vague, and it may well be that it was simply executed in the course of studying the model for the interesting points of view it offered"; relates the pose to that in the earlier "Two Dancers" drawing (MMA 29.100.187).
Ettore Camesasca. The São Paulo Collection: From Manet to Matisse. Exh. cat., Rijksmuseum Vincent Van Gogh, Amsterdam. Milan, 1989, pp. 68–69, ill., dates it about 1879 and considers it part of a study independent of the "Little Dancer" sculpture.
Susan Alyson Stein inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, pp. 215, 285.
Gretchen Wold inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 332, no. A229, ill.
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 454, ill.
Richard Kendall. Letter to Gary Tinterow. December 5, 1996, remarks that he is struck by the model's resemblance to Marie van Goethem and by the suggestion of scenery behind the figure, as if Degas was still thinking pictorially.
Richard Kendall. Degas and the Little Dancer. Exh. cat., Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha. New Haven, 1998, pp. 8, 15, 37, 39, 175, no. 35, colorpl. 35, dates it about 1878–79, placing it among a cycle of drawings made between February 1878 and April 1880 that are related to the "Little Dancer" sculpture; observes that this composition is a virtual reworking of notebook 29, p. 25 (about 1878–79; Morgan Library and Museum, New York) in pursuit of the image's "pictorial potential"; comments that the body position of these two dancers is almost indistinguishable from that of the sculpture.
Impressionist & Modern Art, Part One. Sotheby's, New York. November 11, 1999, p. 38, fig. 4 (color), includes it among the less closely related drawings to the "Little Dancer" sculpture.
Jill DeVonyar and Richard Kendall. Degas and the Dance. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts. New York, 2002, pp. 122, 284 n. 31, mention it among drawings made in preparation for the "Little Dancer" sculpture.
Impressionist & Modern Art: Evening Sale. Sotheby's, London. February 3, 2004, p. 30, fig. 4.
These two studies of Marie van Goethem are among many drawings related to the sculpture The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer. Reff (1976) catalogues three notebook studies for this drawing in the Morgan Library and Museum, New York, and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.
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