Impressionism, a historical reconstruction:
of his exhibited works
On this page you will find an account of which paintings Degas has exhibited at the ‘Impressionist’ Expositions in 1874, 1876, 1877, 1879, 1880, 1881 and 1886. As indicated earlier the indication of a painting is often uncertain. Often there are more than one options. In my choices I mainly have followed the suggestions of Moffett (1986=R2), Berson (1996=R90) and Dony / Braun (1976=R26), they mostly follows the Catalogue Raisonné of Lemoisne (1946=R114) and the later edition of 1984 and a supplement by Brame and Reff (1984=R206). For the monotypes they also refer to Janis (1968=R205). Berson refers also to: Degas inédit. Actes du Colloque Degas. Paris: La Documentation française, 1989 (R90II,p295). I have compared the choices of Moffett and Berson with the decriptions in the reviews (R90I). Further on I made connections between the french titles in the catalogues and the contemporary titles of the paintings. Even though Degas is a well documented artist, it was hard to make my choices. Also because Degas sometimes (probably) didn’t exhibit works that were in the catalogue, and more than once added works that were not in the catalogue. And also because many works in the catalogue don’t indicate a technique, which mostly means it was an oil painting, but with Degas it could mean several other (mixed) techniques. And also because the dating of his works is often insecure. Works first dated later, are now dated earlier. Other works were later reworked by Degas. So several of my suggestions are (very) uncertain or just a suggestion to compare. See also the mainpage on Edgar Degas and a thematical overview of his exhibited art-works.
At the end of this page you will also find an account of the pictures that Degas exhibited at the Salon (and other exhibitions).
The 1st ‘impressionist’ exposition 1874:
- catalogue numbers 54-63
- in total 10 works exhibited, 5x oil paintings, 4x drawing / dessin, 1x pastel
- Note: Degas probably didn’t exhibited pure drawings, but a grisaille, thinned oil,
- Degas showed 3 works of race horses; 2 works with women ironing;
- 0x indication of place
- 0x indication of time, season or weather
- 2x a study
- 7 loans (appartient à…); 3 of Brandon (no.55+57+61), 1 of Henri Rouart (no.56), 2 of Faure (no.54+63), 1 of Mulbacher (no.60).
- See for the suggestions of Moffett (R2,p120), of Berson (R90II,p7/8+22), Adhémar (1974=R87) and Dony (R26).
- See link for the pictures.
Ariste (1874/06/13 reviewed in L’Indépendance belge ‘The most remarkable of all these painters is M. Degas, … the realist M. Degas’ (R90I,p9).
Burty (1874/05/30) reviewed ‘M. Edgar Degas is at once the least revolutionary and the most scholarly member of this group. He is the master of a highly accomplished science of design, which he only excecises on a small scale…’ (R90I,p10)
F. de Gantès (1874/04/23) reviewed ‘M. Degas seems to have studied the dancer very closely, her gestures, her movements, and even her profession. (R90I,p23).
Marc de Montifaud (1874/05/01) reviewed ‘M. Degas has introduced a whole series of them (dansers) at the Exposition, and this time again the opera goddesses will take precedence over the great ladies. The choreography, which brings out all the plastic curves, offers an attractive revelation to the one who studies with love the undulations of the hips, and the serpentine curves of the movements. ‘ (R90I,p29).
Giuseppe de Nittes (1874/07/01) reviewed ‘… As well as in his paintings of dancers, and especially in one of them the colour is so delicate and of such a general half-tone that it makes one feel the difference of art trends with all that has been done so far. The white voile skirts are beautiful. (R90I,p31/2).
Jean Prouvaire (=Pierre Toloza) (1874/04/20) reviewed ‘The red and gold rim of the first bathtub can hardly be seen; behind Harlequin’s coat, a female walker is wrapped in a red chale; of the figurants, at the other side, some green, some pink, with men’s hats passing by, await the moment of their entry, while the first dancer on stage, standing on the breadth of one foot, raises one of her legs and stretches her long, thin arms before rounding them off in the reverence of the final chord. This little figurine, above all, is wonderfully drawn and painted by an artist’s hand. The whole, seen in the evening, – for the painting of M. Degas benefits singularly from being illuminated in the wrong light, – is of unquestionable truth, and the old regulars of the Opera House, passing in front of this painting, will smile, with a sigh. Far from the wings.’ (R90I,p34/5), does this review refer to no.54, no56 or to a work exhibited outside the catalogue?
Philippe Burty reviewed (1874/04/25) in La Republique française ‘Wouldn’t M. Degas be, in his time, a classic? One could not translate with a surer pencil the sound of modern elegance. (…) If he painted Nausicaa, instead of those nervous and pale laundresses of the end, one would recognize a great sense of harmony. No one, in fact, has yet portrayed the dancer, as he has, the coryphee, in gauze and bone, with emaciated arms, the arms emaciated, the waist disrupted, the body plumb, the legs beautiful of that all-professional beauty whose multiple faces compose the general beauty of a society. He is, moreover, a man whose observational skills, artistic finesse and taste can be seen in the smallest of frames. We send the reader straight to a very small painting, the Classe de danse, à l’intérieur de coulisse (in the first room, on entering), and to a most remarkable bistre (=(soot) blackish (brown) drawing, Répétition de ballet, sur la scène. (R90I,p37;R87,p261/2)
Armand Silvestre (1874/04/22) reviewed ‘M. Degas always has a particularly distinctive palette.’ (R90I,p40)
1IE-1874-54, Examen de danse au théâtre; appartient à M. Faure
Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. Berson mentions that CR341 has been suggested, now in the musée d’Orsay, but this work was no part of the Faure collection and it does not accurately fit the subject (R90II,p7). In the reviews it is also not clear if there are referrences to no.54, 55, 56 or 60. Carjat just mentions the title and Cardon only the number (R90I,p14+13).
Jean Prouvaire (=Pierre Toloza) (1874/04/20) reviewed ‘Terpsichore, this year, brings luck to painters. It is a happy painting from which reality does not exclude the charm that the Scene of the Opera during a ballet, seen from a backstage, and painted by M. Degas. The red and gold rim of the first ground floor lodge can hardly be seen; behind Harlequin’s coat, a female walker is wrapped in a red chale; of the figurants, at the other side, some green, some pink, with men’s hats passing by, await the moment of their entry, while the first dancer on stage, standing on the breadth of one foot, raises one of her legs and stretches her long, thin arms before rounding them off in the reverence of the final chord. This little figurine, above all, is wonderfully drawn and painted by an artist’s hand. The whole, seen in the evening, – for the painting of M. Degas benefits singularly from being illuminated in the wrong light, – is of unquestionable truth, and the old regulars of the Opera House, passing in front of this painting, will smile, with a sigh. Far from the wings.’ (R90I,p34/5), it is unclear if this review does refer to no.54, no.56 or to a work exhibited outside the catalogue? I assume it referred to no.54, see at no.56. Maybe it was the ‘dancer on stage’ who did her exam. I will render a composed painting that contains elements of the Jean Prouvaire review, rendering details(from left to right) from CR652+572+617+715+771+452+432. Note: the Harlequin figure, that also appears in paintings made much later around 1884-86, like in CR771.
Compare also 2IE-1876-37 ‘examen de dance’ and 5IE-1880-40 ‘examen de dance’.
1IE-1874-55, Classe de danse; appartient à M. Brandon
Moffett, Adhémar and Berson suggest CR297, now: 1870-72ca, CR297, The Dancing Class (Le Foyer), 20×27, Metropolitan (iR2;iR59;R90II,p7+22;R2,p120;R90I,p29+37;R26,no296;R47,p50). Compare another work with the same title: 3IE-1877-48. Berson mentions that an earlier suggestion was CR341, but a remark of Burty calling it a ’tout petit tableau’ (Eng.: a very small picture)’ confirmed the choice for CR297 (R90II,p7). This small size is confirmed by the review of De Montifaud. Philippe Burty reviewed (1874/04/25) in La Republique française ‘We send the reader straight to a very small painting, the Classe de danse, at the intérieur de coulisse (in the first room, on entering), and at a drawing … (R90I,p37). De Montifaud reviewed ‘Also the Classe de danse is a fine and profound study, in which stands out what one will never find in certain genre painters who would blush to put undraped figures in a canvas of a few inches: the study of the woman in her opulent nudity, in her elegant or fat anatomical lines. M. Degas shows with the same witty verve sharp and cut shoulder blades, and bouncing hocks under which a stocking so well drawn ‘and stretched like a tambourine’ is attached, that leg enclosed between its pink silk netting, reminds one of a very Gallic quote.’ (R90I,p29) I think the De Montifaud review fits CR297 rather well, so I also will render it as suggestion. Note: there were no works of Degas in the posthumous sale of Brandon 1897/12/13+14.
1IE-1874-56, Intérieur de coulisse; appartient à M. Rouart
Moffett and Berson mention Degas destroyed this painting. Léon de Lora (1874/04/18) described it ‘By M. E. Degas, we have seen an Intérieur de coulisses, where a young dancer, in the shadow of a stage screen(?), is watching the entrechats that her companions are doing on the stage illuminated by the lights of the stage.’ (R90I,p27). Philippe Burty reviewed (1874/04/25) in La Republique française ‘We send the reader straight to a very small painting, the Classe de danse, at the intérieur de coulisse (in the first room, on entering), and at a drawing … (R90I,p37). Jean Prouvaire (=Pierre Toloza) (1874/04/20) reviewed ‘Terpsichore, this year, brings luck to painters. It is a happy painting from which reality does not exclude the charm that the Scene of the Opera during a ballet, seen from a backstage, and painted by M. Degas. The red and gold rim of the first ground floor lodge can hardly be seen; behind Harlequin’s coat, a female walker is wrapped in a red chale; of the figurants, at the other side, some green, some pink, with men’s hats passing by, await the moment of their entry, while the first dancer on stage, standing on the breadth of one foot, raises one of her legs and stretches her long, thin arms before rounding them off in the reverence of the final chord. This little figurine, above all, is wonderfully drawn and painted by an artist’s hand. The whole, seen in the evening, – for the painting of M. Degas benefits singularly from being illuminated in the wrong light, – is of unquestionable truth, and the old regulars of the Opera House, passing in front of this painting, will smile, with a sigh. Far from the wings.’ (R90I,p34/5), it is unclear if this review does refer to no.54, no.56 or to a work exhibited outside the catalogue? I assume the review refers to no.54, as the Léon de Lora review emphasizes one dancer in the wings, whereas the Jean Prouvaire describes several dancers in the wings and focusses on the dancer on stage.
To compare I render: 1878ca, CR488, Dancer in green (in the wings), pastel, 46×30, New Orleans MA (iR377;R26,no522;R2,p120;R90II,p7). Compare also 3IE-1877-53; 4IE-1879-47/48; 6IE-1881-19hc.
1IE-1874-57, Blanchisseuse; appartient à M. Brandon
Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. Berson mentions that CR361 and 329 have been suggested, but leaves the work unidentified. Léon de Lora called it ‘very robust and straightforward’ (R90I,p27). Note: Berson connects this to no.61, but there is no indication for this in the review. De Montifaud reviewed ‘The Blanchisseuse again offers us the expression of a widely treated figure. This vigorous attempt at character painting, very consistent and very pronounced in its workmanship, must be ranked among the capital works of the Exhibition. The gesture of this ironer has a precision and a turn full of pride. Next to this colouring of such a rising note, of this flesh being kneaded with a kind of roughness, any more softened conception will appear in a sinkhole.’ (R90I,p29) Giuseppe de Nittis (1874/07/01) reviewed ‘his blanchisseuses are so observed in the movements of their work that the craft is completely rendered.’ (R90I,p31). Note: the plural form suggests De Nittis reviewed no.57+no.61 together. Note: all these reviews, could also refer to no. 61). Note: there were no works of Degas in the posthumous sale of Brandon 1897/12/13+14. I have no sources to my disposal that indicate which blanchisseuse of Degas once belonged to Brandon. Degas showed several works with women ironing: 1IE-1874-57 + 61; 2IE-1876-41 + 49 + 50 + 54 + 59; 4IE-1879-64; 6IE-81-19.
I render some uncertain options: 1873ca, CR329, La blanchisseuse, 22×18, private NY (iR10;iR335;iR90;iR22;R26,no367;R2,p120); and: 1870-73ca (1882-86ca), CR276, The Laundress Ironing (La Blanchisseuse Repassant), 70×71, Reading PM (iR8;iR10;R26,no366;R2,p120).
1IE-1874-58, Départ de course, esquisse, dessin
Eng.: departure of the race, study, drawing. Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion, nor does Berson. Degas showed in total 4 works of race horses with the Impressionists: 1IE-1874-58 + 59 + 63 and 4IE-1879-63. In the reviews it is not always clear if it referred to no.58 or 59. F. de Gantès reviewed ‘He takes us to the racecourses, and shows us the horses at the start, waiting for the signal with an impatience contained by their thin and nervous jockeys.’ (R90I,p23). Philippe Burty (1874/04/25) reviewed ‘He knows how to see and make people see a race, the jockeys locked to their saddles, the passionate crowd, the horses at the start.’ (R90I,p37). Note: the reviews don’t mention it were just drawings. To compare I render two oil paintings: Compare: 1862 (+1880-82ca), CR101, The gentlemen’s race, before the start, 48×62, Orsay (iRx;iR23;R84,p155;R88I,p440;R2,p120;R26,no209;R114,no101;M1); and: 1860-62, CR76, At the Races, the Start, 32×46, Harvard Cambridge (iR2;R26,no164;R2,p120;R114,no76;M32).
1IE-1874-59, Faux départ, dessin
Eng.: False start, drawing. Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. Berson mentions that CR262 has been suggested, but leaves the work unidentified. I will render this work: 1869-72, CR262, Le défilé (Racehorses in front of the stands), thinned oil, 46×61, Orsay (iR10;iR64;iR2;iR23;R26,no194;R90II,p7;R2,p120;M1) and also to compare: 1869-72, CR258, The False Start, 32×40, YUAG New Haven (iR2;R2,p120;R26,no191;M33). See also the reviews mentioned by no.58.
1IE-1874-60, Répétition de ballet sur la scène, dessin; appartient à M. Mulbacher
Moffett suggests CR400; see Dony nr. 466, now in the Metropolitan, who extendedly describe the technique: Oil colors freely mixed with turpentine, with traces of watercolor and pastel over pen-and-ink drawing on cream-colored wove paper, laid down on bristol board and mounted on canvas (M23). Dony describes it as ‘diluted oil on carton’. So mainly it is an oil painting and just partly a drawing as the catalogue indicates. Dony mentions it was bought by Sickert and it was exhibited in London 1891/11 (R26,no466). The Metropolitan mentions that the Orsay version was exhibited in 1874, but they don’t refer to a number (M23). Dony mentions there are 3 versions (R26,no466=CR400+469=CR498+470=CR340). Berson calls this suggestion of CR400 given by Moffet incorrect and suggests CR340, now: 1873-74, CR340, Salle de danse (ballet rehearsal on stage), grisaille, 65×81, Orsay (iR2;iR59;R26,no470;R90II,p7+22). Joconde affirms this work was exhibited as no.60, so does Adhémar; it also mentions it was owned in 1874 by Degas and in 1893 by Gustave Mulbacher (iR23). This provenance of Mulbacher corresponds the loan by M. Mulbacher of no.60, but it is unclear if he owned this work already April 1874. The other argument againgst it, is that this work is a ‘grisaille’, so not a drawing. Though the colour range corresponds the review of Burty, see below. The d’Orsay website refers to a review of De Nittis ”I remember a drawing that must have been a dance rehearsal […] and I assure you that it is extremely beautiful: the muslin dresses are so diaphanous and the movements so truthful that you have to see it to get an idea; to describe it is impossible.’ (M1), but it doesn’t clearly refer to this grisaille, De Nittis clearly mentions it was a drawing. The 3rd version is a pastel: 1874ca, CR498, The Rehearsal on stage, pastel, 53×72, Metropolitan (M23;iR10;R26,no469). The Metropolitan extendedly describes the technique: Pastel over brush-and-ink drawing on thin cream-colored wove paper, laid down on bristol board and mounted on canvas (M23). So mainly this is a pastel and not a drawing as the catalogue indicates. Dony refers to a preparatory drawing that is in the Louvre, but I couldn’t find it, except of some details (R26,no470;M5a). I assume this drawing is the best suggestion for no.60.
But let us look at the reviews: Etienne Carjat (1874/04/27) reviewed ‘The Répétition de ballet sur la scène, shows us different groups of dancers arching their backs, swaying, stretching out in various attitudes, finely observed and spiritually rendered.’ (R90I,p14). Drumont (1874/04/19) calls it ‘Répétition pendant le jour’ and reviewed it has ‘a very strange impression’ (R90I,p21). Léon de Lora (1874/04/18) reviewed ‘a drawing representing a Répétition de ballet in broad daylight, where the groups of dancers are very cleverly arranged.’ (R90I,p27). Giuseppe de Nittis (1874/07/01) reviewed ‘And since I’m reviewing his works in my mind to write about them, I remember a drawing that was supposed to be a dance repeat on the stage that is lit from below, and I assure you it is beautiful. The skirts like veil are so transparent and the movements so right that only by seeing it can you get an idea of them; to render them in writing is impossible.’ (R90I,p32) Philippe Burty reviewed (1874/04/25) in La Republique française ‘a most remarkable bistre (=(soot) blackish (brown) drawing, Répétition de ballet, sur la scène.’ (R90I,p37;R87,p261/2). Especially the last review makes it clear it was not (a colourful) pastel. The range of blackish brown colours could correspond the colours of the grisaille painting. Furthermore the descriptions could apply to CR340 + 400 + 498. I will render CR340 as an uncertain option.
1IE-1874-61, Une blanchisseuse, pastel; appartient à M. Brandon
Moffett suggests Brame and Reff nr62, now in Musée d’Orsay, Berson confirms this suggestion, now: 1869ca, CR1984supp62, Une blanchisseuse (une repasseuse), dr + pastel, 74×61, Orsay RF28829 (R90II,p7+22;R2,p120;R87,p237). Note: this work was in the former collection of Personnaz, it is not indicated that it before that belonged to Brandon (iR23;M1). Note: there were no works of Degas in the posthumous sale of Brandon 1897/12/13+14. This picture indicates a ironer in a rest position. This contradicts the descriptions ‘very robust’ by Léon de Lora, ’the movements of their work’ by Giuseppe de Nittis and ‘The gesture of this ironer’ and the ‘roughness of the flesh’ by De Monticauld. So, I think it is more appropriate to look for an ironer that is in the act of ironing, aswell for no.61 as for no.57. See the reviews given by no.57, which also could apply to no.61. The only pastel that fits this description is a work that is now dated much later (1898-1900ca), but also was dated 1870 onwards: 1898-190ca (1870-86ca), CR277, Woman Ironing, pastel, 71×48, A2021/11/11 (iR2;iR15;iR10;iR13;R26,no365). Maybe Degas later reworked this work, which he maybe started earlier.
1IE-1874-62, après le bain, étude, dessin
Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. Berson mentions that CR376 is suggested, now: 1875-76ca, CR376, Women Combing Their Hair, thinned oil, 32×46, PC Washington (iR2;R26,no397;R90II,p7;R2,p120;M29).
1IE-1874-63, Aux courses en province; appartient à M. Faure
Moffett (R2,p127) suggests CR281; Adhémar and Berson confirm; see Dony nr. 203. Now: 1869-72ca, CR281, At the Races in the Countryside, 37×56, MFA Boston (iR2;iR59;R114,no281;R26,no203;R90II,p7+22;R2,p120+127;M22). See also no.58.
The 2nd ‘impressionist’ exposition 1876:
- catalogue numbers 36-59 = 24 numbers
- nr 51 = various studies, so at least two works and according to Huysmans representing ‘2 drawings on pink paper’ (R90I,p86).
- maybe number 52 was not exhibited
- maybe Degas exhibited one photograph outside the catalogue (=hc), but this is not very likely
- in total Degas exhibited about 25 works, of which 21 oil paintings (according to the catalogue, but in reality this was different), 3 drawings / dessins (no.51+59), 1 pastel (no.42), and probably not 1 photograph (hc)
- 2x indication of place (New-Orleans, nr. 36 + 40)
- 3x indication of time, season or weather (no. 43+55+56)
- 5x a study (no.39+40+42+51)
- 1 loan (appartient à…) M.F. (no.37)
- 7x portraits (no.36+38+39+42+43+46+58); 7x dance scenes (no. 37, 44, 45, 47,48, 51, hc); 5x women ironing (no. 41, 49, 50, 54, 59)
- See for the suggestions of Moffett (R2,p161) and Berson (R90II,p34-36+48-50).
- See link for the pictures.
Arthur Baignères (1876/04/13) reviewed ‘At the head of the men, we place M. Degas, the pontificate, I believe, of the sect of the intransigent impressionists. He brings to the system other qualities than Miss Morisot: less gifts and more science. The hand is more expressive than the eye, and one can see that he is a defrosted draughtsman. (…) One of their processes that Mr. Degas also cherishes, is to cut the canvas anywhere, to remove the feet or the legs. It is not necessary to seem to compose; the painter is passive, let us not forget it. I do not want to predict what the future holds for the artists of the rue Le Peletier; will they one day pass for masters? I agree; then M. Degas will hold the place that M. Ingres occupies among us, while that of M. Delacroix is reserved for M. Claude Monet, the dazzling colorist of the club.’ (R90I,p54/5).
Charles Bigot (1876/04/08) reviewed ‘M. Degas is a curious artist. (…) his execution is always so insufficient, and his taste always carries him to look rather at the bizarre or the ugly than the graceful. (…) dancers in pink skirts and laundresses who yawn. (…) The misfortune is that Mr. Degas does not have the eye of a colorist and that he does not always have the hand of a draftsman (=dessinateur).’ (R90I,p60).
Emile Blémont (1876/04/11) reviewed ‘In the third room is the submission of Mr. Degs. I particularly recommend his groups of yellow and pink dancers; they have an appeal of a captivating realism. His Ironers are not inferior to his Dancers. But if we find excellent sketches, we have not seen a really finished painting by M. Degas, whose submission of the rest is still incomplete.’ (R90I,p63)
Ph. Burty (1876/04/15) reviewed in the Academy (London) ‘Then, finally, there are several sketches and a picture by M. Degas, who introduces himself to the London public at M. Deschamps’ exhibition. (…) He more often throws his sketches on to the canvas than takes time to finish them; but these in themselves are sufficient to prove the power of his imagination, his science, his intimate acquaintance with modern life, with the gestures, effect, the athletics… His eye is true. The vigorous stroke of his pencil and the truth of his colour-indications show the talent of a master.’ (R90I,p65/6).
Pierre Dax / Rivière (1876/05/01) reviewed ‘Mr. Degas is a master observer and an impeccable draftsman as our time produces few.’ (R90I,p70)
Louis Enault (1876/04/10) reviewed ‘Mr. Edgard (sic) Degas is perhaps one of the most intransigent of this intransigent company.’ (R90I,p83)
E.F. (1876/04/21) reviewed in the Moniteur des arts ‘Les portraits dans un bureau, in Nouvelle-Orléans, by M. Degas, presents well-observed types, but the other paintings of the artist are in general vulgar in sentiment and execution.’ (R90I,p84).
J.-K. Huysmans reviewed in his ‘L’exposition des indépendants en 1880’: ‘… in 1876, the first time that I was placed before the works of this master. For me, who had only ever been attracted to the paintings of the Dutch school where I found the satisfaction of my needs for reality and intimacy, … the woman’s torso that leans forward and two drawings on pink paper, where a ballerina is seen from the back and another that reattaches her shoe, are extracted with uncommon flexibility and vigour.’ (R90I,p290)
Louis Leroy (1876/04/15) reviewed in Le journal amusant ‘I liked less the two women of Mr. Degas ironing a rock covered with snow in the middle of a forest whose trees are loaded with whitish stalactites. (…) what I thought was a snow-covered forest was actually a laundry room interior. The stalactites of frost would be, they say, starched petticoats suspended on the wall.’ (R90I,p88). And in Le Chavari ‘Shirts and petticoats, hanging from the walls, play to the delight of the stalactites of frost falling from the old oaks;’ (R90I,p89)
Emile Zola reviewed ‘The painter has a deep love of modernity, interiors and types of everyday life. The misfortune is that he spoils everything by finishing.’ (R90I,p108+113)
2IE-1876-36, Portrait dans un bureau (Nouvelle-Orléans)
Moffett (R2,p170) suggests CR320, Berson confirms; now: 1873, CR320, le bureau de coton à la Nouvelle Orléans, 73×92, MBA Pau (iR2;R90II,p48+34;R2,p161+170;R26,no356;M170). This work has been reviewd many times. Degas renders many black-white contrasts and a lot of detail (R47,p62). This work was bought by the museum in Pau in 1878 (R47,p66;R90II,p34). Chaumelin called it an ‘accurate and frankly modern painting’ (R90I,p68).
2IE-1876-37, Examen de danse; Appartient à M. F…
Moffett and Berson suggest CR397; now: 1874-6ca, CR397, the dance class, 83×76, Metropolitan (iR2;R2,p161;R90II,p48+34;R47,p64;R26,no488).
2IE-1876-38, Portrait de Mr. E.M…
(E.M. =Eugène Manet, married with Berthe Morisot, brother of Edouard Manet). Moffett (R2,p172) suggests as options CR339 or 392. Berson affirms CR339: 1874, CR339, Eugene Manet (married with Berthe Morisot), 65×81, private (iR2;iR15;R90II,p48+34;R2,p172;R26,no371). This work was probably made in Degas his studio. Lemoisne suggested CR392 because it also depicts Ernest May, but a lettre of Degas to Morisot confirms CR339 in which he wrote ‘a portrait of your husband sitting on the side of a main road’ (R90II,p34).
2IE-1876-39, Portrait de femme (ébauche)
Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. Berson suggests CR213, now: 1869, CR213, Mme Theodore Gobillard, nee Yves Morisot, 55×65, Metropolitan (iR2;iR59;R90II,p48+34;R26,no249;M23). Note: the title doesn’t indicate the painting is a studie / sketch, but it looks that way. Compare no.42. Berson refers to a lettre Degas wrote to Morisot ‘I intend to exhibit an early draft of a portrait of your sister, Mme Gobillard’. This also makes CR214 an option, which I suggest for no.42.
2IE-1876-40, Cour d’une maison (Nouvelle-Orléans, esquissé)
Moffett and Berson suggest CR309; see Dony nr. 346. Now: 1872-73, CR309, Children on a Doorstep, 60×75, OC Copenhagen (iR2;R90II,p49+34;R26,no346;R47,p60).
Moffett suggests as options CR687 or 686 or 785 or 786; see Dony nr. 596 or 595 or 624 or 625. All these works are dated later. Clayson suggests Degas reworked his laundresses later (R2,p158). Berson suggests CR687, now: 1882ca, CR687, Sbl, Laundry Girls Ironing, 82×75, NSM Pasadena (iR2;iR10;R90II,p49;R26,no596;R90II,p49+34). Berson mentions that CR686 is also suggested, but the review of Baignères confirms CR687 more (R90II,p35).
L’Audience (1876/04/09) reviewed ‘It is the same for the Blanchisseuses, by M. Degas, whose frankness and vital energy cannot be denied. We can see that the group we are dealing with has for principle the truth of nature, which does not mean that many do not add talent in their material execution.’ (R90I,p53). Chaumelin reviewed ‘His Blanchisseuses, of a design that is so accurate and firm, will not work for me: the laundry they iron is repulsively dirty.’ (R90I,p68). See also Enault, Pothey (R90I,p83+104). The most precise desription is rendered by Baignères, who reviewed ‘Two laundresses, one yawning and the other ironing, is the subject of one of his greatest paintings. The background is indistinct, whitish, merges with the faces which do not detach themselves; the movement alone is rendered, then an arm that the randomness of the impression has put in its place; so it is surrounded by a big black line and the admirers cry: ‘Look at this arm, how it draws! They are right to be ecstatic. How, indeed, could a man who has written nothing, who has modeled nothing, who mixes everything in a vague whiteness, have made an arm with indications of bones and muscles? One can cry out for a miracle. (R90I,p54/5). Note: the ‘whitish’ background seems to rule out CR686, the black line of the arm seems to plea for CR785 and probably even more for CR786, the ‘vague whiteness’ and the ‘merging of the faces’ seem to fit CR687 more. Louis Leroy (1876/04/15) reviewed in Le journal amusant ‘I liked less the two women of Mr. Degas ironing a rock covered with snow in the middle of a forest whose trees are loaded with whitish stalactites. (…) what I thought was a snow-covered forest was actually a laundry room interior. The stalactites of frost would be, they say, starched petticoats suspended on the wall.’ (R90I,p88). Maybe this review refers to CR776, which I also will render as an option. I will also render CR687 and a print of CR786 as uncertain options. More info see 1IE-1874-57.
2IE-1876-42, Ebauche de portrait (pastel)
Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. Berson omits this works. This work was not reviewed. My uncertain suggestion is: 1869, CR214, Mme. Theodore Gobilllard, nee Yves Morisot, pastel, 48×30, Metropolitan (iR2;R26,no250). This work was also shown at the Salon in 1870. This is the same woman as CR213, see no.39. Another option could be CR208 ‘Madame Camus at the piano’ (R26,no246) or CR209 ‘Madame Camus’ (R26,no247), compare no.43. I render CR214 and 208 as very uncertain options.
2IE-1876-43, Portrait, le soir
Moffett suggests CR271 (R2,p173). Now: 1869-70, CR271, Madame Camus with a Fan, 73×92, NGA Washington (iR2;iR59;R90II,p49+35;R2,p173;R26,no258;R114,no271;M21). This work was also shown at the Salon of 1870. Berson renders this work as a second option. Her first option is CR362, now: xx (R90II,p49+35;), also inspired by the review of Huysmans ‘I also recommend, in the painting above this one (= no.47), the torso of the woman leaning forward’ (R90I,p86+290).
2IE-1876-44, Salle de danse
2IE-1876-45, Salle de danse
Moffett suggests for no.44 or 45 CR340 (R2,p174); see Dony nr. 470. But this is a rehearsal on stage, so I don’t follow Moffett in this one; still I will render it. Berson also disagrees with Moffett and suggests CR340 for 1IE-1874-60. Berson suggests CR362, now: 1875ca, CR362, La Répétition au foyer de la danse (Studies by ballerinas), 41×55, Phillips Washington (iR10;iR6;iR8;R90II,p49+35;R26,no486;R114,no362;M29). She refers to the review G. d’Olby (1876/04/10) reviewed ‘The sketch in grisaille representing the foyer of a dance theater (…) is remarkable for its well observed indications of movements and group arrangements. But these are only indications: is it enough to make a painting?’ (R90I,p99/100). Baignères maybe refers to one of these works, when he calls it ‘la Répétition‘: The dancers are more picturesque than the laundresses, and there are two or three figures in the Répétition. This is a lot for an intransigent.’ (R90I,p55). Emile Zola reviewed ‘His “Salle de danse” also, with students in short skirts trying out steps; has a great character of originality.’ (R90I,p108+113). I follow Berson and render CR362. As a second uncertain option I render: 1875-76, CR375, Two Dancers in the foyer (Dance School), p+g, 29×20, private (iR53;R26,no491;R90I,p55;R2,p161;R90II,p35); this painting fits the ’two or three figures’ of Baignères; the third figure in CR375 is a bit vague and probably the teacher.
Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. Berson omits this work. There are no reviews of this work. As one of many possibilities I render: 1872, CR305, woman with a vase of flowers, (Estelle Musson, Mme Rene de Gas), 75×54, Orsay (iR2;R26,no341). My suggestion corresponds the fact that Degas exhibited two other paintings he made in New Orleans (no. 36+40). See also no.58 with the same title.
Huysmans (1883) reviewed ‘M. Degas exhibits two paintings representing dancers of the Opera: three women in yellow tulle skirts stand embraced; in the background, the decor rises and lets glimpse the pink maillots of the corps de ballet; these three women are standing on their hips and on their toes with a prodigious verity. No creamy, fake fleshiness, but real flesh, a little worn out by the layer of pastes and powders. It’s absolutely real and it’s really beautiful. ‘ (R90I,p86+290) Emile Porcheron (1876/04/04) reviewed ‘Then comes a Vue de coulisses: three or four dancers in the foreground are cut by the frame above the knee; in the third plan, we see a background curtain that does not go down to the ground and let us see the legs and the feet of which we regret the absence in the foreground.’ (R90I,p103). Moffett and Berson suggest for no.47 or 48 CR512 (R2,p149), Now: 1876-80ca, CR512, Yellow Dancers (in the Wings), 73×60, AI Chicago (iR2;R26,no726;R2,p161+149;R90II,p35+49;M20). As a second very uncertain option I render: 1876-85ca, CR617, Dancers in Pink, 59×74, HSM Farmington (iR53;iR10;iR114;iR2;R26,no790;R114,no617;R2,p161;M39). Other options would be: CR514 / 783 / 1024. Note: the date of many of Degas’ paintings of dancers in the wings are very uncertain and often dated later. Compare also: 1IE-1874-56; 3IE-1877-52; 6IE-1881-hc1.
2IE-1876-49, Blanchisseuse (silhouette)
Emile Porcheron (1876/04/04) reviewed ‘In the back room, M. Degas shows us, among others, a washerwoman whose head and arms are almost black.’ (R90I,p103). Leroy reviewed in Le Chavari ‘Shirts and petticoats, hanging from the walls, play to the delight of the stalactites of frost falling from the old oaks;’ (R90I,p89). Moffett and Berson suggest CR356 (R2,p175); see Dony nr. 368. Now: 1873-4ca, CR356, Woman Ironing (Silhouette), 54×39, Metropolitan (iR2;iR59;R90II,p50+35;R26,no368;R47,p61). Maybe CR361 is also an option. See info 2IE-1IE-1874-57.
2IE-1876-50, Blanchisseuse portant du linge
Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. Berson notes that he probably intended to show CR410, but probably did not untill he showed it as 4IE-1879-64 (R90II,p35). Now: 1876-78, CR410, laundresses carrying linen, thinned oil, 46×61, private (iR2;R26,no437). Note: the catalogue uses the singular ‘blanchisseuse’ whereas on this picture there are two woman carrying laundry. Moffett suggests this work only for 4IE-1879-64. To compare I render a later pastel: 1888-92, CR961?, Blanchisseuse portant du linge, pastel, 66×92, private (iR6;iR377;iR10;R26,no682;R114,no961?;R2,p161).
2IE-1876-51, Divers croquis de danseuses
Eng.: Several studies of dancers. Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. The plural ‘divers’ suggests two or more studies. Berson suggests: 1875-80, CR388, Danseuse rajustant son chausson, thinned oil + sepia on pink paper, 40×32 (or 80×64), Axx (iR10;iRx;iR64;iR42;iR138;R90II,p50+35;R26,no495;R90I,p86+290) ; and: 18xx, Sbr, Danseuse, vue de dos, les mains sur les hanches, peinture à l’huile et à l’essence, blanc (rehaut), papier (rose), pinceau, 37×26, Louvre (iR23;M5a;R90II,p50+35;R90I,p86+290); former collections of Camondo + Guillaumin. Huysmans reviewed ‘I also recommend (…) two drawings on pink paper, where a ballerina seen from behind / on her back and another who is reattaching her shoe, are lifted with an uncommon suppleness and vigor.’ (R90I,p86+290). Berson renders this review also for 1880, where it could refer to 5IE-1880-42 or 43.
2IE-1876-52, Dans un café
Moffett mentions as previously thought to be CR393; see Dony nr. 399; Moffett suggests this picture as 3IE-1877-61+hc. Clayson suggests it was not exhibited at all, because no one makes a reference to such a work (R2,p147), which would explain why this same work was exhibited in 1877. Berson affirms this suggestion. Moffett doesn’t give another suggestion. See also R8,p22.
Moffett suggests ‘perhaps’ CR391. Now: 1876, CR391, the ballet ‘Robert le diable’, 75×81, VAM London (iR10;R26,no487). This work was owned in 1876 by Faure (M65). In his own list Degas mentioned this work ‘orchestre Cherfils…’, probably indicating that a Cherfils owned this work, which would rule out this work as candidate for no.53. Alphonse Cherfils, was a friend of Degas (R88II,p455). Around 1878-80ca Degas had portrayed Cherfils, who was an art-collector (M27; CR647;R26,no580). Berson (R90II,p36) leaves the work unidentified and mentions that CR295 is also suggested, now: 1872 (+1874-76), CR295, Musiciens à l’orchestre, 64×49, Städel Frankfurt aM (iR6;iR2;iR8;R26,no290;M54); this work first belonged to Durand-Ruel and in 1874 was sold to Faure. Other paintings of orchestras are: 1868-70ca, CR186, the orchestra of the Opera, 57×46, Orsay (iRx;iR23;R26,no286), exhibited as S1870-97 and part of the former Désiré Dihau collection (the fagot player in the picture; for me unknown since when); and: 1872, CR294, SDbr, The Ballet from ‘Robert le Diable’, 66×54, Metropolitan (iR8;iR2;R26,no290;M23), a work bought by Durand-Ruel Januar 1872 and sold 1874/03/05 to Faure for 1500 francs. All these provenances don’t match with ‘Cherfils’. Neither can I recognize the Cleveland portrait of Cherfils in one of the men rendered in the mentioned pictures. This makes all suggestions uncertain. I will render the suggestions of Moffett and Berson as uncertain options.
Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion, nor does Berson. Bertall (1876/04/15) reviewed ‘The washerwoman, who wrote ‘cho 7′ for sock, was also an impressionist, but history does not say that she had a black arm as she is represented by M. Degas. M. Degas, who has exhibited a series of 25 paintings, knows perfectly well that a washerwoman who irons does not have the black arm of a coalminer. But this laundress yawns in full gear, and the black arm is unexpectedly original. The ironer of M. Degas, no. 54, is now reported for all France and M. Degas as well.’ (R90I,p58). Bigot also mentions ‘laundresses who yawn’. For the laundresses who yawn see also no.41. The ‘black arm’ also is rendered in no.49. I couldn’t find a picture that depicts these descriptions. Just to compare I render another of his laundresses: 1876ca (1887ca), CR685, Woman Ironing, thinned oil, 81×66, NGA Washington (M21;iR2;iR8;R26,no597), exhibited in London in 1905, no.68.
See more info 1IE-1874-57.
2IE-1876-55, Femme se lavant le soir
Eng.: Woman washing in the evening. Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. Berson omits this work. There were no reviews on this work. Most of the works with women washing themselves are dated later. In the pictures Dony represents I can’t find an additional title with ‘evening’. But maybe the next work is an option: 1876-77 (1886-90), CR890, Woman at Her Toilette, pastel on mt, 46×60, NSM Pasadena (iR2;R90II,p73+91;R26,no932), a work that is also suggested for 3IE-1877-46.
2IE-1876-56, Petites paysannes se baignant à la mer vers le soir
Moffett (R2,p177) suggests CR377; this is affirmed by Berson; see Dony nr. 396. Now: 1875-76, CR377, Peasant Girls Bathing in the Sea at Dusk, 65×81, private, (iR2;R26,no396). Also exhibited as 3IE-1877-51. Berson notes that this work was neither reviewed in 1876 nor in 1877, which makes it possible that Degas did not show it at all.
Emile Porcheron (1876/04/04) reviewed ‘We won’t say anything about the Atelier des modistes, who are obviously too ugly not to be virtuous.’ (R90I,p103). There were no other reviews. Berson leaves the work unidentified (R90I,p36). Moffett suggests as perhaps CR371; see Dony nr. 393; now: 1875ca, CR371, Madame Jeantaud in the mirror, 74×84, Orsay (iR2;R26,no393;R47,p67;R11,p211;R2,p161;M1). This picture doesn’t necessarily show a milliner, more a lady looking at herself in the mirror. And it doesn’t seem to fit a ‘milliners’ workshop’. So I will render Moffett’s suggestion, but label it as very uncertain. All paintings of milliners I could find are dated later. But Degas more often reworked paintings and many datings of his paintings are unsure. So I render also an oil that is dated later, rendering a milliners’ workshop that looks a bit ‘ugly’: 1882-1905 (1890ca), CR1023, Chez les modistes, oil, 60×75, JPGM Los Angeles (M31;iR377;R26,no680;R2,p161).
Degas exhibited another two works of milliners in 1886, see no.14+15.
Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. Berson omits this work. There are no reviews of this work. Note: the same title as no.46. As one of many options I render: 1869, CR198, SDbr, Emma Dobigny, 31×26, Kh Hamburg (iRx;iR2;R47,p44;R26,no254;R114,no198;R2,p161;M50).
2IE-1876-59, Blanchisseuse (dessin)
Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. Berson omits this work. There were no reviews of this work. As an uncertain option I render: 1869ca, CR1984supp62, La Repasseuse, dr+p, 74×61, Orsay (iR6;iR8;iR10;iR23), former Personnaz coll. More info see no.41.
2IE-1876-59+hc, Les Danseuses (photographie d’un tableau)
Berson suggests Degas showed a work outside the catalogue (=hc), but leaves the work unidentified. She refers to the review of Rivière, who reviewed ‘Les Danseuses (including a photograph of a painting). (R90I,p70). But, she writes ‘Rivière, the only critic to mention this work, may have mistaken the grisaille Salle de danse for a photograph (no.44). (R90II,p36). In the book ‘Edgar Degas Photographer’ (=aR17) I couldn’t find photographs made by Degas in the 1870s, so Berson might be right. Still, I will render two older photographs of Degas to compare.
The 3rd ‘impressionist’ exposition 1877:
- catalogue numbers 37 – 61 =25
- 1 work was exhibited outside the catalogue (=hors catalogue = hc)
- Degas exhibited probably 5 café scenes (no.37+42+43+44+hc), 7 dance scenes (38+39+40+48+52+57+61), 5 women bathing / doing their toilet (no.45+46+50+51+56), 3 portraits (no.49+53+54), 3 monotypes (no.58-60)
- Note: Claretie refers to his etchings made for the book Fille Elisa by M. Edmond de Goncourt, but it is unclear if he does so in general or to once who were exhibited hors catalogue (R90I,p141)
- Note: 3 reviews refer to watercolours, but maybe they don’t distinct it from pastels over monotype or works that were ‘détrempé’, made soaking wet, also called ’tempera’ (see also 4IE-1879-58), which Degas exhibited; if they were really referring to watercolours, than they must have been exhibited outside the catalogue.
- 3 works maybe were not exhibited: no.42 + 51 + 54
- so in total Degas exhibited about 26 works
- 0x indication of place
- 3x indication of time, season or weather
- 0x a study
- 8x loans (appartient à…), M. C. (=Caillebotte; no.37+45+47); M. H.H. (no.38), M. Ch. H. (no.43); M. V. (no. 44); M. H. R… (probably Henri Rouart; no.49+50)
- See for the suggestions of Moffett (R2,p204) and Berson (R90II,p72-74+89-92)
- See link for the pictures.
Roger Ballu (1877/04/14) reviewed ‘I imagine that Mr. Edgar Degas is not an impressionist by any means, but I am sure that he is a man of spirit … in the color tones! His types in Chanteuses de caféconcert (42-44) are frighteningly real, but you have to admit, they are taken from life. We recognize these stunned foreheads, these shameless eyes, these disarticulated gestures.’ (R90I,p126).
Charles Bigot (1877/04/28) reviewed ‘(…) His dancers, in the wings of the Opera, leaning on the racks, practicing their pirouettes (no52?) or to practice their exercises at the bar, struck all the artists by the accuracy of the poses and movements. (…) (café-concerts) the unfortunate thing is that the drawing really leaves too much to be desired. (…) I would add that Mr. Degas is the opposite of a colorist. The tones seem to him only by their value of light or shade; it seems that the colour in itself does not exist for him. He places here and there a bright note which is a firecracker; next to it, he will have no hesitation in showing a black nose or an earth-colored shoulder. (…) ‘ (R90I,p135).
Jules Claretie (1877/04/15) reviewed ‘ (…) If impressionism is a religion, M. Degas would willingly be its prophet… (R90I,p141)
L.G. (1877/04/06) reviewed in La Presse ‘M. Degas, at least, shows us his ‘naked women’ in the bath or in the intimacy of the toilet; they are not bearded, they are not well made, they do not have a good complexion, but finally one can believe in their relative cleanliness, … M. Degas, of whom we have just spoken, has a salon of his own in the Salon de la rue Le Peletier. There are all kinds of things in his submissions, but mainly dancers. M. Degas has this speciality of making dancers in labour, that is to say, standing on one foot and throwing the other in the face of the public. ‘ (R90I,p148)
Jacques (1877/04/12) reviewed ‘… I recomment the watercolours of M. Degas. No one looks so closely at the interiors, on whose door it is written: ‘The public does not enter here!’ (…) The prima ballerina, who takes her bows after a step which has left her breathless, rushes with such ardour towards the ramp / the stage that, if I were at the desk, I would think of supporting her. (?no40;CR418;419) The dancers, as they enter the stage, attentive to their entrances, one leg in the air, watching for the motif that will invite them, have a picturesquely real appearance. (no52?) (R90I,p157)
Louis Leroy (1877/04/11) reviewed ‘M. Degas exhibits a portrait of a woman painted in oil (no.53/54), which the fools say good things about, under the pretext that it is studied and seriously painted, instead of admiring his pastels which are so full of an amiable madness. But, fools that you are! if the painter exhibits this portrait, it is to show you victoriously the immanent progress he has made since the day he stopped drawing!’ (R90I,p160)
Léon de Lora (1877/04/10) reviewed ‘His consignment consists mainly of a series of paintings and auqarelles depicting cafe-concert and backstage scenes. The movements of his little figures are just and piquant, in front of this print entitled Ballet. (no.39/57) The dancer rushes forward, her face swooning/ pale, making her silk skirts swirl.’ (=?CR491) (R90I,p163)
Paul Mantz (1877/04/22) reviewed ‘It is not clear why Edgar Degas was classified as an Impressionist. He has a distinct personality, and, in the group of so-called innovators, he stands apart. He has a distinct personality and, in the group of the so-called innovators, he stands apart. (…) Let us not wonder how the Florentine of ten years ago became the impressionist of today. (…) He is an observer, a historian perhaps. He has chosen as the subject of his studies the cafe chantant and its conspicuous vulgarities, the floor of the theatre, where the funnel of the sprinkler (NL. trechter van de sproeier) skilfully draws 8’s in the dust (=?CR430), the suspected backstage where under the red light of the smoky lamps, skinny girls puff out (NL. laten opbollen) their skirts and repeat their steps (??CR1013;430). (…) M. Degas is elsewhere a cruel painter. He has been visibly moved by the painful element that lies beneath these garments: it shows the little dancers with destitute arms (NL. pover / armlastig), the fat gentleman who walks in the middle of these fairy tales and who excels in protecting the debutantes, the excessive smile of the singer who comes, clutching a bouquet to her heart, to thank the idolatrous public (CR491). He knows all the stigmas of precocious vice; he has a notion of painted ugliness and he will be, when he wants, a formidable caricaturist. The compositions of M. Degas are moreover scattered and disordered: his frame cuts the figures in two and willingly shows them in the state of fragments; … The idea of disconcerting the bourgeois is one of his most constant preoccupations.’ (R90I,p167).
A.P. (1877/04/07) reviewed in Le Petit Parisien ‘It is nature caught in the act, in an exact, lively, poignant movement, despite its rawness.’ (R90I,p173).
La Petite Republique française (1877/04/10) reviewed ‘M. Degas is certainly the most original artist of the pleiad.’ (R90I,p176)
G. Rivière (1877/04/06) reviewed ‘ (…) his prodigious science is evident everywhere; his ingenuity, so attractive and so peculiar, arranges the characters in the most unexpected and amusing way, while at the same time it is always true and always normal. What M. Degas hates most, moreover, is romantic exhilaration, the substitution of dreams for life, in a word, panache. He is observant; he never seeks exaggeration; the effect is always obtained, by nature itself, without charge. This is what makes him the most valuable historian of the scenes he shows us. (R90I,p181). Later (1877/11/01) he reviewed ‘M. Degas … is the most valuable historian of contemporary scenes (…) he possesses the secret of the characteristic gesture … it is then that his works will take their true place, the most important perhaps, in art at the end of the 19th century.’ (R90I,p187)
Emile Zola (1877/04/19) reviewed in Le Sémaphore de Marseille ‘… Mr. Degas whose watercolours are so beautiful.’ (R90I,p191)
Note: Jacques, de Lora and Zola refer to watercolours. None of the works in the catalogue is indicated as such. So maybe Degas showed some watercolours outside the catalogue or some works in the catalogue were watercolours, but were not indicated as such. It is also possible that mistook as being watercolours pastels over monotypes or works that were ‘détrempé’, made soaking wet, also called ’tempera’ (see also 4IE-1879-58). I know hardly any watercolours of Degas, so I can’t make suggestions for these exhibited ‘watercolours’.
Note2: Several reviews could refer to any of the pictures depicting dancers. I render these decriptions here: Léon de Lora described ‘The dancer rushes forward, her face swooning/ pale, making her silk skirts swirl.’ (R90I,p163), probably referring to CR491. Paul Mantz decribed ’the little dancers with destitute arms (NL. pover / armlastig), the fat gentleman who walks in the middle of these fairy tales and who excels in protecting the debutantes, the excessive smile of the singer who comes, clutching a bouquet to her heart, to thank the idolatrous public’ (R90I,p167) Rivière reviewed ‘dancers in blue skirts’ (R90I,p181). Ph. M. gives one work the title ‘la Ballerine que salue le public’, maybe this was no.39 or 57 (R90I,p164). Jacques decribed ‘The prima ballerina, who takes her bows after a step which has left her breathless, rushes with such ardour towards the ramp / the stage that, if I were at the desk, I would think of supporting her.’ (R90I,p157) L.G. described ‘standing on one foot and throwing the other in the face of the public. ‘ (R90I,p148)
3IE-1877-37, Femmes devant un café, le soir; Appartient à M. C.
Moffett suggests CR419 (R2,p197); Berson affirms; see Dony nr. 430. Now: 1877, CR419, Women on a Cafe Terrace in the Evening, pastel, 41×60, Orsay (iR2;iR59;R90II,p72+89;R27,p42). Note: in the catalogue it is not mentioned it was a pastel on monotype, see also no. 60. This work was part of the Caillebotte bequest, so C. = Caillebotte. Georges Rivière clearly described this work (1877/04;R90I,p181;R26,p163). See also Jacques (R90I,p157).
3IE-1877-38, École de danse; Appartient à M. H.H.
Moffett (following Lemoisne) suggests CR398; Now: 1873, CR398, The Dance Class, 48×63, NGA Washington (iR2;R26,no490;R47,p63). But Berson suggests CR430 as a more likely candidate, because Jacques (1877/04/12) reviewed ‘under the eye of the master’ (R90II,p72). ‘where four or five students, under the watchful eye of the teacher, indulge in a convincing throw-down is disturbingly sincere.’ (R90I,p157). Now: 1874ca, CR430, The Rehearsal, 58×84, BC Glasgow (iR2;R90II,p72+89) But in this painting, the teacher is overseeing much more students. CR365 fits much more this review: 1875, CR365, Ballet Rehearsal, p+g over monotype, 55×68, NAMA Kansas city (iR2;R26,no485). This could apply to no.61 for which Berson also suggests CR365. I follow Moffett because CR398 belonged from about 1876-1889 to Henri Hill in Brighton (iR377). It also fits the Paul Mantz description ’the floor of the theatre, where the funnel of the sprinkler skilfully draws 8’s in the dust’ (R90I,p167)
Moffett suggests CR513 (R2,p216); now: 1877-80ca, CR513, Ballet at the Paris Opera, pastel, 35×71, AI Chicago, (iR2;R26,no724). Note: the title doesn’t indicate it is a pastel. Compare no.57. Berson suggests CR491, now: 18xx, CR491, L’étoile, pastel over monotype, 58×42, Orsay (R90II,p72+89). Léon de Lora described ‘The dancer rushes forward, her face swooning/ pale, making her silk skirts swirl.’ (R90I,p163), probably referring to CR491 and clearly not fit for CR513. Paul Mantz decribed ’the little dancers with destitute arms (NL. pover / armlastig), the fat gentleman who walks in the middle of these fairy tales and who excels in protecting the debutantes, the excessive smile of the singer who comes, clutching a bouquet to her heart, to thank the idolatrous public’ (R90I,p167); the ‘fat gentleman … in the middle’ fits CR491, but she is not ‘clutching a bouquet to her heart’; Degas depicting several dancers holding a bouquet, but none does this to the heart. Ph. M. gives one work the title ‘la Ballerine que salue le public’, maybe this was no.39, 40 or 57 (R90I,p164). Jacques decribed ‘The prima ballerina, who takes her bows after a step which has left her breathless, rushes with such ardour towards the ramp / the stage that, if I were at the desk, I would think of supporting her.’ (R90I,p157); this also could well fit CR491, but not CR513. L.G. described ‘standing on one foot and throwing the other in the face of the public. ‘ (R90I,p148); of the pictures of dancers on one foot I know, all point the other legg behind or aside, but not forwards in the direction of the public; this also is the case for CR491 and CR418. I follow the suggestion of Berson, because it fits the review of de Lora and partly the other reviews, but I will render it as an uncertain option, because she doesn’t carry a bouquet of flowers and doesn’t throw one foot towards the public.
3IE-1877-40, Danseuse, un bouquet à la main
Moffett and Berson suggest CR418; now: 1877, CR418, Dancer With Bouquet, pastel tempera / essance, 66×37, Orsay (iR59;R90II,p72+90;R26,no499). Note: the title doesn’t indicate it was a tempera pastel. Other options also are pastels (R26,no509 / 510 / 511 / 519). Jacques decribed ‘The prima ballerina, who takes her bows after a step which has left her breathless, rushes with such ardour towards the ramp / the stage that, if I were at the desk, I would think of supporting her.’ (R90I,p157) Rivière (1877/11/01) reviewed ‘The rapped dancer who wants to greet the audience, with a big bouquet in her hand, is charming in her studied bow and awkward smile / slanted to the left.’ (R90I,p186). This last ‘sourire gauche / smile slanted to the left’ fits CR418.
3IE-1877-41, Danseuse à la barre
Moffett suggests CR421 or perhaps 408 (R2,p217); see Dony nr. 498 (a pastel) or 497, now: 1876-77, CR408, Dancers Practicing at the Barre, thinned oil, 75×81, Metropolitan (iR2;iR59;R90II,p72+90;R2,p204+217;R26,no497;R114,no408;M23). Berson also suggests this work, because of the review of Mantz. Lemoisne suggested CR421 because of a drawing that was published in L’Impressioniste (1877/04/14;R90I,p198). I render both options.
3IE-1877-42, Chanteuse de café-concert
Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. Berson leaves the work unidentified. But she mentions the suggestion made for CR478bis, that was exhibited as 4IE-1879-70. The catalogue doesn’t indicate a technique, which mostly means it was an oil painting, but this also applied to no.43+44 which were pastels over monotype. CR478bis is a pastel with tempera. There are two almost similar pastels CR477 and 478. There is also a painting in oil and pastel that depicts a singer in a café-concert: 1876-77ca, CR380, La ‘chanson du chien’ (the song of the dog), oil+ pastel, 58×45, private (iRx;iR6;R26,no414). I still will follow the suggestion of Berson. Note: Degas made several works of Mll. Bécat a ‘chanteuse de café’ mostly performing at ‘les Ambassadeurs’. All these works are also an option. Degas exhibited 4 works of café-concerts with the Impressionists: 3IE-1877-42 + 43 + 44 and 6IE-1881-hc3.
3IE-1877-43, Café-concert; Appartient à M. Ch. H.
Moffett suggests CR404 (R2,p360); Berson affirms; see Dony nr.411. Now: 1877, CR404, The Café Concert, pastel on monotype, 24×43, CGA Washington, (iR2;R26,no411;R27,p37). Note: the catalogue doesn’t indicate this work was a pastel on monotype. Moffett also suggests this one as an option for 6IE-1881-hc3. See also no.42. Jacques reviewed ‘The women, in a circle on the stage, in their new toilets, imposing uniforms, whose contrasting shimmer melts in the vague light of the gas, listen, in the first one, to the envied companion, who shouts a comic song, her mouth contoured, her shoulders raised, her skirt half raised on her right foot.’ (R90I,p157). Léon de Lora reviewed (probably no.43) ‘The Café-concert, where a Theresa in a pearlescent dress waved her song around with her arms and voice is also very amusing. But don’t ask Mr. Degas for more than a little. The attitude, the enveloping outline of his figures, the clothing, he is concerned with that and only that. Do you want to look at their features? M. Degas will defend you well. I am not sure that the features would not be in nature.’ (R90I,p163). Note: the pearlescent dress contradicts the black dress in CR404. Rivière (1877/11/01) described (apart from no.44) ‘The woman who sings, swinging her wrists, elbows out, nose in the air’ (R90I,p187), maybe referring to no.43, probably referring to CR458. Zola reviewed ‘amazingly true café-concerts with ‘divas’ leaning over smoky light fittings with the mouth open.’ (R90I,p191), maybe referring to no.43. I will also render CR458 as an uncertain option.
3IE-1877-44, Café-concert; Appartient à M. V…
Moffett suggests with a perhaps CR405; Berson affirms; see Dony nr. 413. Now: 1875-77ca, CR405, Café Concert, At ´Les Ambassadeurs´, pastel on monotype, 37×26, MBA Lyon (iR2;R90II,p73+90;R26,no413;R47,p73). Note: the catalogue didn’t indicate it was a pastel on monotype. See also no.42. Georges Rivière (1877/04/06) widely and full of praise described this work (R90I,p181;R26,p163) and also later (1877/11/01) (R90I,p187). See also Baron Grimm, Jacques (R90I,p151+157).
3IE-1877-45, Femme sortant du bain; Appartient à M. C.
Moffett suggests CR422 (R2,p195); Berson affirms; see Dony nr. 427. Now: 1877ca, CR422, Woman Leaving Her Bath, pastel on monotype, 23×31, Orsay (iR2;R26,no427). This work was part of the Caillebotte bequest. Note: the catalogue didn’t indicate it was a pastel on monotype.
3IE-1877-46, Femme prenant son tub le soir
Eng.: Woman taken her bath in the evening. Moffett suggests CR423; see Dony nr. 428. Now: 1876-7, CR423, Woman leaving the tube, pastel on monotype, 17×28, NSM Pasadena (iR59;R26,no428;M43). Note: the catalogue didn’t indicate it was a pastel on monotype. Note 2: both pictures indicate a woman leaving the bath and not one taking her bath; and nothing indicates it was evening; note also the difference between bath and tube. Berson suggests CR890, Femme à sa toilette, pastel over monotype, 46×60, NSM Pasadena (R90II,p73+90;M43). The tube fits better to this picture, the carpet and the wall-paper seem to be the same as CR422, the dating is insecure. I render both options.
3IE-1877-47, Choristes; Appartient à M. C…
Moffett suggests CR420; Berson affirms; see Dony nr. 416. Now: 1877, CR420, The Chorus, pastel on monotype, 29×30, Orsay (iR2;iR59;R90II,p73+91;R26,no416;R114,no420;R2,p204;M1). Note: the catalogue didn’t indicate it was a pastel on monotype. Was part of the Caillebotte bequest.
3IE-1877-48, Classe de danse
Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion, Berson leaves out this work, which means there were no (direct) reviews. Compare no.38 ‘École de dance’ =!? CR430; compare 1IE-1874-55 = CR297. Options are CR398 (which compares CR430), CR341, CR362, CR654 (which renders dancers in bleu) and CRsupp60 .
As an uncertain option I render: 1873-6ca, CR341, the ballet class, 85×75, Orsay (iR2;R26,no479;R11,p206/7).
3IE-1877-49, Portrait de monsieur H.R…
Moffett suggests CR373 (R2,p218); Berson affirms; see Dony nr.392. Now: 1875ca, CR373, Henri Rouart in front of His Factory, 65×50, CI Pittsburgh (iR2;R26,no392;R27,p53;R2,p218;R90II,p73+91). H. R… is Henri Rouart.
3IE-1877-50, Bains de mer, petite fille peignée par sa bonne; Appartient à M. H.R…
Moffett suggests CR406; Berson affirms; see Dony nr. 410. Now: 1870-77ca, CR406, Beach Scene, thinned oil essence, 46×81, NG London (iR2;iR59;R90II,p73+91;R26,no410). M. H. R… is Henri Rouart. In his posthumous auction in 1912 it had no. 15.3. See the review of Maillard (R90I,p164).
3IE-1877-51, Petites filles du pays se baignant dans la mer à la nuit tombante
Moffett suggests CR377 (R2,p176); Berson affirms; see Dony nr. 396. Now: 1875-76, CR377, Peasant Girls Bathing in the Sea at Dusk, 65×81, private (iR2;R90II,p73+91). Also listed as 2IE-1876-56; it is not sure the work was exhibited at all.
3IE-1877-52, Coulisses de théâtre
Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. Berson leaves the work unidentified. She mentions a suggestion for CR715, which was exhibited as 6IE-1881-hc, but the reviews indicate a ballet scene with several dancers rehearsing. Many of the works Degas made of dancers in the wings have a very uncertain date. Charles Bigot (1877/04/28) reviewed ‘(…) His dancers, in the wings of the Opera, leaning on the racks, practicing their pirouettes (R90I,p135). Jacques decribed ‘The dancers, as they enter the stage, attentive to their entrances, one leg in the air, watching for the motif that will invite them, have a picturesquely real appearance.’ (no52?) (R90I,p157). Rivière reviewed ‘dancers in blue skirts’ (R90I,p181). All these reviews may be referring to no.39, 48, 52 or 57. Note: the descriptions of what goes on in the wings, can also apply to other pictures that indirectly give a glimpse of the wings, like in the Paul Mantz review. But studying the works of Degas depicting (also) the wings of the theatre, I can’t find a work that fits the given descriptions. So I just render two works of dancers in the wings to compare: 1880-90ca, CR587, The ballet class (+ ballet master), 62×51, Bührle Zurich (iR377;R26,no759); and: 1877-78ca, CR448, Two Dancers Entering the Stage, pastel over monotype, 32×29, Harvard Cambridge (iR2;R26,no506).
I render as a very uncertain option: 1876-85ca, CR617, Dancers in Pink, 59×74, HSM Farmington (iR2;R26,no790). Compare also 1874-56; 1876-47+48; 1881-hc1. Note: Georges Rivière writes about dancers in their blue skirts (1877/04; R26,p163). But I couldn’t find a work made until 1877 that resembles this description, except maybe 1877-9, CR?, Dancers on stage, pastel + gouache, 66×36, TB Lugano (R27,p66).
Georges Rivière (1877/04/06) writes about a woman portrait that Degas made years ago and reviewed ‘This portrait is a marvel of drawing, it is as beautiful as the most beautiful Clouet, the greatest of the primitives.’ (R90I,p181;R26,p163); note: he writes about one portrait, not two. Moffett suggests for no.53 or 54 CR163, following Lemoisne (R2,p219), now: 1867, CR163, portrait of a young woman, 27×22, Orsay (iR6;R47,p38;R2,p219;R47,p38). Berson suggests CR165, 1867, Mme Gaugjelin, CR165, 59×44, GM Boston (R90II,p73+91). As argument she mentions the Mantz in his review mentions the date of 1867, but this also applies to CR163. She also mentions a lettre of Degas to Mme de Nittis (1877/05/21) describing ’this old oil portrait of a woman with a chachemire on her knee. ‘ (R90II,p74). Paul Mantz reviewed ‘It is the first time that a woman’s portrait is displayed on a desk in a bright light, but it was not painted for the sake of the cause, for it is dated 1867. The work is serious, with Italian reminiscences. The individual character is clearly sought; the modelling is simple and broad. Let us not wonder how the Florentine of ten years ago became the impressionist of today.’ (R90I,p167). note: Mantz also talks of just one women’s portrait. I will render CR165, but also CR163 as second uncertain option, which maybe wasn’t exhibited.
Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. Berson omits this work; it was not reviewed. I only found a later work from 1892 which I give to compare. Now: 1892, CR1114, The Billiard Room at Menil-Hubert, 51×65, Sg Stuttgart (iR2;R26,no1157). A picture from a room in the castle of the Valpinçon family. This work has similarities with 1872-3, CR312, Interieur, 33×46 in the Horowitz collection in New York, maybe also made in the same castle (R26,no347). If so, maybe Degas also made an earlier version of the one made in 1892, or the 1892 version was a reworking of an earlier painting.
3IE-1877-56, Cabinet de toilette
Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. This work has to indicate a little toilette room. Berson suggests CR547, now: Femme nue accroupie de dos, pastel over monotype, 16×12, Orsay (R90II,p74+92), also part of the Caillebotte bequest. A.P. reviewed ‘a figure of a squatting woman who scandalizes the ladies’ (R90I,p173).
Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. Berson leaves the work unidentified. The title is the same as no.39, so as a very uncertain option I render a similar work like CR491 and also CR418: 1878ca, CR490, Dancer with a bouquet of flowers (The Star of the ballet), p+g, 81×66, JPGM Los Angeles (iR53;R26,no519). It corresponds the review of Ph. M. gives it the title ‘la Ballerine que salue le public’ (R90I,p164).
3IE-1877-58, Dessins faits à l’encre grasse et imprimés
3IE-1877-59, Dessins faits à l’encre grasse et imprimés
3IE-1877-60, Dessins faits à l’encre grasse et imprimés
Eng.: drawings made with greasy ink and printed. These are also called monotypes (web.archive.org), see for explanation. Jules Claretie reviewed ‘He has undertaken to illustrate Monsieur et Madame Cardinal by Ludovic Halévy. His drawings have an extraordinary character. It is life itself. There is Gavarni and Goya in such an artist.’ (R90I,p141). Moffett suggests for no.58-60 CR547, a work I could not indicate. Berson leaves these works unidentified, but calls a work titled ‘Les petites Cardinal, par Ludovic Halévy’. (R90II,p74). Christies also mentions that Degas showed monotypes related to Halévy’s stories of the Cardinal family at the 3rd ‘impressionist’ exposition (iR15).
I render 3 uncertain options from this serie: 1876-77ca, Ludovic Halevy Speaking with Madame Cardinal, pastel on monotype, 27×18, private (iR2;R2,p204;R90II,p74); and: 1876-77ca, Virginie Being Admired While the Marquis Cavalcanti Looks On, monotype, 16×12, NGA Washington (M21;iR8;R2,p204;R90II,p74); and: 1876-77ca, Pauline and Virginie Cardinal conversing with admirers, monotype, 21×16, Harvard Cambridge (iR10;iR91;iR11;R2,p204;R90II,p74;M32).
The website of the Metropolitan writes: ‘Degas too studied the world of the maisons closes (=prostitution houses), and made about fifty smudged drawings in greasy ink on glass or metal plates which he printed as monotypes’ (see). Provokr (iR91) and the NYtimes render articles on monotypes by Degas exhibited at the MoMa in New York in 2016. Christies mentions that ‘Many depict scenes of prostitutes in brothel interiors and were never exhibited in public during the artist’s lifetime’ (iR15). So, these works are no option for the nos. 58-60. Several of these works were part of the 1934 edition of Guy de Maupassant’s book ‘La Maison Tellier’ published by Ambroise Vollard (iR14). It is clear that Degas also used other theme’s for his monotypes. Many of these monotypes Degas later on reworked with chalk, pastel and /or watercolour. It was Lepic who taught Degas making monotypes.
3IE-1877-61, Répétition de ballet
Moffett suggests CR400; Berson affirms, now: 1874ca, CR400, The Rehearsal of the Ballet Onstage, 54×73, Metropolitan (iR22;R90II,p74+92;R26,no466). Note: This painting is made with tempera and takes place on stage. Both are not indicated in the title. Compare 1IE-1874-54+60 and 4IE-1879-hc. Berson does a second suggestion: CR365, now: 1875ca, CR365, Ballet reherassel, pastel + gouache on monotype, 55×68, NAMA Kansas City (R90II,p74+92;). This suggestion fits the review of Jacques (1877/04/12) ‘where four or five students, under the watchful eye of the teacher, indulge in a convincing throw-down is disturbingly sincere.’ (R90I,p157). I render CR365 as probably exhibited and CR400 as an uncertain option.
Moffett suggests CR393; Berson affrims; see Dony nr. 399. Now: 1876, CR393, in a café (the Absinthe drinker), 92×68, Orsay (iR2;R90II,p74+92;R26,no399;R11,p210;R27,p43). The picture was made in the Café de la Nouvelle-Athènes (R47,p69). This work was listed as 2IE-1876-52, but by than probably not shown (R90II,p74;R8,p22). See the reviews of Chevalier (R90I,p139).
Descubes reviewed ‘There are so many qualities in a watercolour by the same artist, where two figures, a man and a woman at the door of a cafe, present a wonderfully rendered expression.’ (R90I,p144). Berson refers it with an ‘?’ to L’Absinthe, but this is not a watercolour and the man and woman don’t seem to sit near a door. So did Degas show a second work outside the catalogue?
The 4th ‘impressionist’ exposition 1879:
- catalogue numbers 57-81 = 25
- nr. 67 (perhaps) wasn’t exhibited
- probably two works were exhibited outside the catalogue (=hors catalogue=hc)
- in total Degas exhibited between 24 and 27 works; probably 10x oil paintings, 9à11x pastel, 5 fans; additional techniques: 4à5x détrempe (=tempera; soaked wet; no.58/59/65/67/75), 2x essence (=oil or terpentine; no. 63 + 64)
- 1x indication of place
- 0x indication of time, season or weather
- 2x a study
- 10x loans (appartient à…)
- 11x portraits; 6à7x dancers; 5x éventail / fan (nrs.77-81);
- See for the suggestions of Moffett (R2,p267/8) and Berson (R90II,p109-112+128-131)
- See link for the pictures.
La Petite République Française (1879/04/13) reviewed ‘M. Degas is, as ever, one of the stars of the group.’ (R90I,p237)
Paul Sébillot (1879/05/15) reviewed ‘and above all in his Ecole de danse illuminated by large windows through which the light from outside penetrates.’ (R90I,p238), referring to no. 65, 66 or hc1.
X. reviewed in Le La Vie Parisienne (1879/05/10) ‘Among the independents – who last year were called impressionists and who next year will probably be called insane / senseless – there is a special painter for each genre.’ (R90I,p252)
4IE-1879-57, Portrait de M. Diego Martelli
Moffett suggests CR519 (R2,p257); Berson affirms; see Dony nr. 566. Now: 1879, Diego Martelli, 100×110 , NGS Edinburgh (iR2;R90II,p109+128;R2,p257;R114,no519;R26,no556). Berson mentions that it was not reviewed on and maybe not exhibited, still it was on a list of works that Degas wanted to submit. She also mentions another less finished work of Diego Martelli, CR520, now: MNBA Buenos Aires (R90II,p109).
4IE-1879-58, Portrait de M. Duranty (détrempe)
Moffett suggests CR517 (R2,p36); Berson affirms; see Dony nr. 558. Now: 1879, CR517, Edmond Duranty, pastel and tempera, 100×100, Glasgow AGM (iR10;iR5;R90II,p109+128; R2,p36;R47,p55). Détrempe means soaking wet, so the pastel (or oil paint) has been made wet; sometimes also called tempera. Tempera means that dry powder colour pigments are mixed with egg and / or water (iR3;iR5).
4IE-1879-59, Portrait après un bal costumé (détrempe)
Moffett suggests CR534; Berson affirms; see Dony nr. 562. Now: 1879,CR534, Portrait after a Costume Ball (Mme Dietz-Monnin), pastel + tempera, 86×75, AI Chicago (iR59;iR2;R90II,p109+128;R2,p267;R26,no562). For détrempe see no.58.
4IE-1879-60, Portrait d’amis, sur la scène (pastel)
Moffett suggests CR526; Berson affirms; see Dony nr. 567. Now: 1879, CR526, Wings of Desire (Ludovic Halevy and Albert Cave), pastel+tempera, 79×55, Orsay (iR2;iR59;R90II,p109+128;R2,p267;R26,no567;R114,no534;M1).
4IE-1879-61, Portraits, à la bourse; appartient à M. E.M…
Moffett suggests CR499 (R2,p278); Berson affirms; see Dony nr. 454. Now: 1878-79, CR499, At the Stock Exchange, 100×81, Orsay (iR59;iR2;R2,p267+278;R90II,p110+128;R90I,p227;R114,no526;M1). Maybe referred to by Leroy ‘And this man’s hat, under which, after the most conscientious search, it was impossible to find a head: an independent hat too!’ (R90I,p227;R90II,p110). Also listed for 5IE-1880-35, but it is unclear if it was exhibited at all.
4IE-1879-62, Miss Lola, au cirque Fernando
See the description of Huysmans (R90I,p292). Moffett suggests CR522 (R2,p279); Berson affirms; see Dony nr. 560. Now: 1879, CR522, Miss La La at Cirque Fernando, 117×78, NG London (iR2;iR59;R2,p279;R90II,p110+128;R90I,p292;R26,no560;R114,no522;R47,p82;R27,p48;M61).
4IE-1879-63, Chevaux de course (essence)
Moffett suggests CR262 or 649 (R2,p242); see Dony nr. 194 or 692. Option 1, 1869-72, CR262, Le défilé (Racehorses in front of the Stands), thinned oil, 46×61, Orsay (iR10;iR2). Option 2, 1881ca, CR649, Jockeys before the Race, thinned oil, 108×74, BIFA Birmingham (iR2;R90II,p110+129;R90I,p238;R26,no692;R114,no649). As option 2 probably is a later work, option 1 should by more likely, but Berson only suggests CR649, referring to the review of Roland: ‘Depicting a racehorse passing on the track, a huge pole positioned in the foreground divides the steed into two sections, leaving us to see only the extremities.’ (R90I,p238). I agree with Berson and leave out CR262 as posibility. Degas showed 3 works of race horses in 1874. This is the only work he exhibited later on with the Impressionists. Essence means the oil is thinned with terpetine / gasoline.
4IE-1879-64, Blanchisseuses portant du linge en ville (esquisse à l’essence); appartient à M. Coquelin Cadet.
Moffett suggests CR410 (R2,p280); Berson affirms; see Dony nr. 437. Now: 1876-78ca, CR410, Laundresses carrying linen, thinned oil on carton, 46×61, private (iR2;R280;R2,p267+280;R90II,p110+129;R114,no410;R26,no437). For ‘essence’ see no. 63. The title has many similarities with 2IE-1876-50. Berson claims this same work was intended to be submitted in 1876 (R90II,p110), but the difference between the singular and the plural makes me doubt this. For more info see 1IE-1874-57.
4IE-1879-65, École de danse (détrempe); appartient à M. E.M…
Moffett suggests CR399 (R2,p258); see Dony nr. 489. Now: 1876, CR399, Dance School, 43×57, SM Vermont (iR10;R2,p258). For détrempe see no.58. Berson suggests CR498, now 1873-74, CR498, La Répétition sur la scène, pastel over ink, 53×72, Metropolitan (R90II,p110+129;R90I,p240;R26,no469;M23). She does so referring to the review of Silvestre (1879/04/24): ‘Let’s stand still again before the Leçon de danse (no 65). How true is the gloomy day with which the backstage of a theatre is illuminated during rehearsals! In a few touches, the stupid attention of the young choreographers to the orders of the ballerina who instructs them is expressed with a yawn-inducing intensity.’ (R90I,p240). The Metropolitan makes clear it was owned by Ernest May and probably exhibited as no. 65. Berson suggests CR399 was exhibited hc and writes ‘It seems that Degas originally intended to exhibit the Shelburne picture (=CR399) (which is clearly an école rather than a répétition) under no.65, but substituted the second picture owned by May (Lemoisne 1946, no.498) instead.’ (R90II,p110). I follow the suggestion of Berson, rendering CR498 as probably exhibited and CR399 as maybe exhibited.
4IE-1879-66, École de danse; appartient à M. H.R…
Moffett suggests CR537; Berson affirms; see Dony nr. 727. Now: 1879ca, CR537, Rehearsal, 47×61, Frick coll NY (iR2;R90II,p110+129;R2,p268;R26,no727;R114,no537;M37). H.R… is Henri Rouart (R2,p264). It was part of his legacy and sold in 1912 under no.15.1.
4IE-1879-67, Essai de décoration (détrempe)
Eng.: decorative study (tempera). Moffett suggests CR532, following Lemoisne; see Dony nr. 565. Moffett notes that this picture may not have been exhibited and suggests that it was exhibited in 1881 outside the catalogue, see 6IE-1881-19+hc2. Berson affirms this last suggestion. Berson indicates that CR532 was made of pastel and black chalk on grey paper, therefor, referring to the difference in medium, she doesn’t find it a good suggestion for no.67. But Dony / Braun indicates that the medium is tempera with pastel and that the inscription in the lower right writes ‘Portraits as wall decoration in an apartment.’ That would make it a very plausible suggestion for no.67. Dony also suggests that the person in the middle is Mary Cassatt and the person at the right maybe Ellen Andrée. There were no reviews on no. 67. I couldn’t find any other suggestion. I follow Dony, Lemoisne and Moffett and render CR532 as probably not exhibited. For détrempe see no.58.
4IE-1879-68, Portrait dans une baignoire à l’Opera (pastel)
Eng.: Portrait in a parterre loge / ground floor lodge at the Opera (pastel). Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. Berson leaves the work unidentified, but mentions two suggestions: CR434 and 586. I couldn’t find a picture of CR434 and only a black and white one of CR586. As an uncertain option I render: 1878ca, CR476, Dancer with a Bouquet of Flowers, pastel, 40×50, Providence RISD (iR2;iR53;R26,no509). This work is also suggested for 5IE-1881-hc3.
4IE-1879-69, Portrait d’un peintre dans son atelier; appartient à M. H.M.L….
Moffett suggests as options CR240 or 326 or 337. I can’t find CR240. Berson also mentions CR337: 1873-79ca, CR337, Portrait d’homme en blouse blanche, 40×54, xx (iR10;iR377;R26,no415; = 2nd sale no.59). Another option is: 1867-68ca, CR175, Portrait of James Tissot 151×112, Metropolitan (iR6;R26,no240;R27,p18). Berson suggests CR326, because the loaner H.M.L. could well be the same as the sitter Henri Michel-Levy, I follow her suggestion, now: 1873, CR326, Portrait of Henri Michel-Levy (or artist in his studio), 41×27, MFCG Lisbon (iR2;R90II,p111+129;R2,p268;R26,no362;R114,no326).
4IE-1879-70, Chanteuse de café (pastel); appartient à M. C. G…
The Harvard Art Museum in Cambridge suggests CR478bis, which was owned in 1879 by Camille Groult. Moffett and Berson affirm; see Dony nr. 448. Now: 1878, CR478bis, Chanteuse de café (au gant), the singer with the glove, pastel, 53×41, FAM Cambridge (iR6;iR59;R90II,p111+129;R2,p268;R26,no448;R114,no478bis;M32). Berson writes that Degas planned to exhibit this work as 3IE-1877-42, Chanteuse de café-concert (R90II,p111). Dony describes the technique as pastel and tempera, which is not indicated in the catalogue. Berson refers to several reviews.
4IE-1879-71, Loge de danseuse (pastel); appartient à Mme A de C…
Moffett suggests CR529; Berson affrims; see Dony nr. 728. Now: 1879, CR529, Dancer in Her Dressing Room, pastel, 60×43, Oskar Reinhart Winterthur (iR2;R90II,p111+130;R90I,p252;R2,p268;R26,no728;R114,no529;M87). Berson refers to the reviews of de Tarade (1879/05/04) who just mentions the number and of X. (1879/05/10) who reviewed ‘Furthermore, in a dressing room – always a dancer.- We can see a dress, an arm, a leg, a nose and moustaches! Hum!!…’ (R90I,p252). 1878ca, CR497, Dancer’s Dressing Room, pastel, 58×44, private (iR2;R26,no518), also could be an option, but this man has a beard and the description of De Tarade fits better to CR529, so I only render this one.
4IE-1879-72, Danseuse posant chez un photographe; appartient à M. Brame
Moffett suggests CR447; Berson affirms; see Dony nr. 505. Now: 1877-78ca, CR447, Dancer Posing for a Photographer (‘Dancer in Front of the Window’), 65×50, Pushkin (iR2;R90II,p111+130;R2,p268;R26,no505;R114,no447;M96). Louis Besson just mentioned the picture, there were no other reviews. Note: the picture doesn’t clearly depict that the dancer is photographed, so I render it as uncertain. Maybe the provenance of Brame, can render more certainty.
4IE-1879-73, Grand air, après un ballet (pastel)
Moffett suggests CR521; Berson affirms; see Dony nr. 745. Now: 1879, CR521, Aria after the ballet, pastel + gouache (on monotype; with essence?), 60×75, MA Dallas (iR6;iR10;R90II,p111+130;R2,p268;R26,no745;R114,no521;M36). Note: The other techniques aren’t mentioned in the catalogue. There were no reviews.
4IE-1879-74, Portrait de danseuse, à la leçon (pastel)
Moffett suggests CR450; Berson affirms; see Dony nr. 503. Now: 1877-78, CR450, The Dance Lesson, pastel, 67×59, Metropolitan (iR8;iR2;iR59;R90II,p111+130;R2,p268;R26,no503;R114,no450;M23).
4IE-1879-75, Portraits de M. et Mme H. de C. (détrempe à pastel)
For détrempe see no.58. Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. The catalogue of Dony doesn’t provide an option too. Berson leaves it not identified. She mentions in Degas his list were a ‘Portraits de Mme H. de Clermont + Mr. S de Cl-‘ (R90II,p111). To compare I render a drawing: 1879, Erman de Clermont, dr, 48×32, SMK Copenhagen (iR378;iR10); note the difference between S. and Erman.
Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. Berson leaves it unidentified. She mentions a review in Le Soir mentioning a portrait of M. Coquelin Cadet: ‘… (no.64) a loan by M. Coquelin cadet!! This last one plays a role within impressionism: not only as owner of certain paintings, but two impressionists have fought over the glory of reproducing his features: M. Degas and M. Forain.’ (R90I,p241), probably referring to no.76 (and no. 83 of Forain). Degas his own list mentions a ‘portrait on a lampshade’ (R90II,p111). I couldn’t find a picture of Coquelin Cadet by Degas, so to compare I render a portrait of him made by another painter: Anders Zorn, 1889, Portrait of Ernest Coquelin (‘Cadet’; 1848-1909), 117×82, Nm Stockholm (iR6;iR10;R2,p268;R90II,p111;R90I,p241;M91).
4IE-1879-77, Éventail; appartient à M. Brame
Moffett suggests CR457 (R2,p248+281); affirmed by Berson; see Dony nr. 542. : 1879ca, CR457, Fan, the ballet, wc, 16×54, Metropolitan (iR59;R90II,p111+130;R2,p268;R26,no542;R114,no457;M23). Still, Berson makes clear that the identification is uncertain.
4IE-1879-78, Éventail; appartient à Mme L.H.
4IE-1879-79, Éventail; appartient à Mme H. R…
Note: none of the fans are described in the reviews. Berson suggests that no.78 was a loan from Mme Ludovic Halévy and no.79 from Mme Henri Rouart. This gives a bases for identification. For no.80/81 she refers to a letter of Cassat who later owned this fan. (R90II,p112).
Moffett suggests for no.78, 79, 80 and 81 ‘perhaps’ CR566 and 567; see Dony no. 544 and 543. Berson suggests for no.78: 18xx, Danseuses sur scène, fan wc on silk, 16×57, A1986/12/10 (R90II,p112+130). Berson suggests for no.79, CR613: 18xx, CR613, Le ballet, fan, gouache on silk, 19×60, xx (R90II,p111+130). Berson suggests for no. 80 or 81 CR566, now: 1879ca, CR566, dancers, fan wc on silk, 19×58, Metropolitan (iR10;R90II,p112+131;R26,no544;R114,no566;M23).
Other options: Dony no. 281, 289, 541, 544-555. See also R47,p56+81.
4IE-1879-81+hc1, Leçon de danse
Pickvance suggests Degas showed CR498 outside the catalogue (=hc=hors catalogue). This because of a review of Silvestre (1879/04/24) (R2,p264/5). In the catalogue of Moffett this suggestion is not repeated (R2,p268). Now: 1873-74, CR498, The Rehearsal on Stage, pastel, 53×72, Metropolitan (iR2;R26,no469). But Berson suggests this work for no.65, see above. For this hc-work she suggests CR399, writing ‘Deags appartently intended to exhibit this painting as IV-65 but sent another dance picture owned by Ernest May instead (Lemoisne 1946, no.498). The present picture seems to have been submitted late (on 1 May Silvestre calls it “une nouvelle Leçon de danse, ” signaling that it must have arrived after his previous review of 24 April) and hors catalogue‘ (R90II,p112). Now: 1876, CR399, Dance School, oil and tempera, 43×57, Shelburne Vermont (iR10;R2,p258;R90II,p112+131;R90I,p240/1;R26,no489). Silvestre reviewed ‘A new Leçon de danse shows us a theatre foyer, in the middle of the day, lit from outside by crosspieces overlooking a garden and allowing beautiful waves of light to pass through the curtains and spread across the floor. The effect is wonderfully observed and rendered with great delicacy.’ (R90I,p240/1). I suppose Berson is right and render CR399 as possibly exhibited as hc1 and maybe exhibited as no.65. Note the similarities of this work with CR537 exhibited as no.66.
4IE-1879-81+hc2, Danseuses derrière la toile
Berson suggests a second work that was exhibited outside the catalogue (=hc). Now: 18xx, CR500, the Ballet, pastel, 32×25, NGA Washington (R90II,p112+131). This suggestion is not confirmed by the National Gallery (M21). Berson writes: ‘This identification is suggested on the basis of the X. review. De Tarade, whose review of 4 May 1879 provides the present title, gives exhibition numbers of titles from the original exhibition checklist for the other Degas works he cites, implying that the work he describes here is hors catalogue. The dates of his reviews, along with that of the X. review, may also indicate that the work was a late envoi. De Tarade (1879/04/27) reviewed ‘One has to admire “au cirque Fernondo” his Danseuses dans les coulisses and his nos 65, 70, etc.’. Later (1879/05/04) he reviewed ‘In more than one entrance, namely the numbers 70 and 71 and his Danseuses derrière la toile, we find a light and delicate touch: that he completes his compositions and repudiates in his backgrounds the harshness and crudeness of very discordant tones: his work will gain much and his merit will not lose anything.’ (R90I,p244+245). X. reviewed in Le La Vie Parisienne (1879/05/10) ‘First, a dozen dancers, before, during and after the lesson. – Brrr!- And what a subject… of painting! Here is one, for example. On the right, half a dancer: ear, shoulder, arm and left leg. On the left, another half of another dancer: ear, shoulder, arm and right leg. In the middle, a gentleman whose beard serves as hair for one of the dancers,’ (R90I,p252). I think that the last two sentences don’t fully apply to CR500. I couldn’t find a better option, so I render it as an uncertain option.
The 5th ‘impressionist’ exposition 1880:
- catalogue numbers 33-44 = 10 works.
- At least two works were not exhibited (no.33 + 34 ; R2,p309), see the remark of the review by Gustave Goetschy (1880/04/06) ‘You will see neither his Dencer nor his Young Spartan Girls, nor yet other works that he has promised us.’ (R2,p309;R90I,p282)
- 2 or 3 works exhibited outside the catalogue (=hors catalogue = hc)
- Number 44 contained of at least 2 engraving plates, of each several states and studies were exhibited; I render 2×6 works, I assume this number contained of at least 2×4=8 works.
- No. 42+43 each contained of at least 2 drawings / pastels.
- So in total Degas exhibited about 17 works, including 4 pastels, at least 4 drawings / pastels and at least 8 engravings / studies.
- 1x indication of place
- 0x indication of time, season or weather
- 2x a study
- 3x loans (appartient à…), 2 of M. E. M. (no.35+40) and 1 of M. L. (no.41)
- See for the suggestions of Moffett (R2,p311) and Berson (R90II,p147/8+163/4)
- See link for the pictures.
Paul de Charry (1880/04/10) reviewed ‘M. Degas, the painter of dancers, has fine and accurate observations, his rats are of perfect realism. He does not always emphasize the grace and beauty of his models, but the farther one stands back, the more charming they are, and they are accurately and well recorded. At first sight his work is desagreeable to the eye, but one grows accustomed to it.’ (R90I,p273;R2,p299).
J.-K. Huysmans gave an extended review in his ‘L’exposition des indépendants en 1880’: ‘A painter of modern life was born, and a painter who derived from no one, who resembled none, who brought a new flavour of art, new methods of execution. (…) inhis paintings where the persons are often cut off by the framework, like in certain japonese pictures. (…) And also what a study of the light effects! ‘ (R90I,p290-292).
Charles Ephrussi (1880/05/01) reviewed ‘See rather M. Degas: he chooses types of young dancers, slender, of uncertain form, with disagreeable features, repulsive; he renders them with graceless movements and, on this strange subject, he spreads a fine colouring, a delicate light which caresses the floor and the decor; the value of the tones is of an astonishing accuracy, which puts each thing on its plane, in spite of a perspective that is often irrational;’ (R90I,p278;R2,p300)
Eugène Véron reviewed in L’Art ‘Degas continues to be passionately devoted to movement, pursuing it even in violent and awkwardly contorted forms.’ (R2,p300;R90I,p317)
5IE-1880-33, Petites filles Spartiates provoquant des garçons (1860)
This work was not exhibited, see the review of Goetschy ‘We will see neither his Danseuse, nor his Jeunes Filles spartiates, nor other works that he had announced to us.’ (R90I,p283;R90II,p147;R2,p311+301). Now: 1860ca, CR70, Spartans exercising , 110×155, NG London (iR2;R90I,p283;R90II,p147+163;R2,p311+301;R26,no86;M61). I still, will render this work.
5IE-1880-34, Petite danseuse de quatorze ans (statuette en cire)
According to many sources this statue wasn’t exhibited (R2,p311+336;R90II,p147/8;R26,p160) and the next year it was exhibited as 6IE-1881-12. In 1881 there were many reviews, in 1880 just two. One by J.L. in L’Ordre (1880/04/06) ‘M. Degas sent not only oil and pastel paintings, but also a wax statue: Petite Danseuse de 14 ans, which will certainly catch the eye of the art-lovers.’ (R90I,p295). Berson writes that this review ‘seems to indicate the sculpture’s inclusion in the show’ (R90II,p147), it also well could have been, that J.L. merely made (this part of) his review from the information given in the catalogue. The second review was by Gustave Goetschy (1880/04/06) ‘Everything that M. Degas produces has the gift of interesting me so keenly that I had delayed the appearance of this article for a day in order to tell you about a wax statuette which I had been told was wonderful which shows a fourteen-year-old ballerina modeled on life, wearing a real puffy skirt and real dancing shoes. But M. Degas is not an independent for nothing! He is an artist who produces slowly, as he pleases and as he wishes, without the support of exhibitions and catalogues. Let us mourn! We will see neither his Danseuse, nor his Jeunes Filles spartiates, nor other works that he had announced to us.’ (R90I,p283) This interview could suggest that the statue was exhibited, but more likely that Goetschy was informed about how it would be, but still, (Degas producing slowly and being independent of catalogues), it wasn’t exhibit yet. (R90II,p148;M21)
5IE-1880-35, Portraits à la bourse; appartient à M. E.M.
Moffett suggests CR499 in Musée d’Orsay (R2,p278). Now: 1878-79, CR499, At the Stock Exchange, 100×81, Orsay (iR2;R26,no454). Maybe also exhibited as 4IE-1879-61. But, by absence of critical review, Berson suggests it maybe was not exhibited, nor in 1880, nor in 1879.
Moffett, following Lemoisne suggests CR517 in Glasgow AGM (R2,p36). Now: 1879, CR517, Edmond Duranty, pastel tempera, 100×100, Glasgow AGM (iR6;R26,no558). Dony indicates this work was made of pastel and tempera, which is not indicated in the title (R26,no558). There is also a smaller pastel version in the NGA Washington. Degas also showed this work in 1879 (no.58). Silvestre (1880/05/01) reviews ‘Since my last article (1880/04/25), the exposition of M. Degas has been extended with a very important piece, the portrait of the poor Duranty.’ (R90I,p308) Because of this review Berson suggests this work as exhibited outside the catalogue (=hc) and leaves this number unidentified. There were no other reviews. It is possible that he didn’t exhibit this work at all (R90I,p283). Still, I will render a recently made portrait, also to give an impression of the portraits that Degas recently made. As a very uncertain option I render: 1877ca, CR441, Mll. Malo, 81×65 NGA Washington (iR2;iR10; R26,no419).
Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. Berson omits this work. There were no reviews. It is possible that he didn’t exhibit this work at all (R90I,p283). Still, I will render a recently made portrait, also to give an impression of the portraits that Degas made.
As a very uncertain suggestion I give: 1876-80, CR415, Portrait of a woman, 46×38, NGV Melbourne (iR10;R26,no443;R2,p311;M122).
5IE-1880-38, étude de loge au théâtre; pastel
See the description of Huysmans (R90I,p291). Moffett suggests CR584, Berson affirms. Now: 1880, CR584, Study of a lodge at the theatre, p, 66×53, A2005/05/04 (iR15;iR10;iR174;iR59;R26,no762;R311;R90I,p291;R90II,p148+163).
5IE-1880-39, Toilette; pastel
Moffett suggests with a perhaps CR554 in a private collection in New York (R2,p322). Now: 1879ca, CR554, After the Bath, pastel on monotype, 21×16, private (iR2;R26,no864). Note: the catalogue doesn’t indicate the pastel was drawn over a monotype. Based on the reviews Berson suggests CR749, now: 1883ca, CR749, Le Coucher (La Toilette; pastel), 65×50, private (iR10;iR114;R90II,p148+163). Goetschy reviewed ‘His Toilette, representing a woman with a yellow bun / chignon, seen on her back, busy with her hair,’ (R90I,p283). Rivière (1880/04/24) reviewed ‘his woman at her toilet turning her blond head with her two arms raised backwards’ (R90I,p306). M. de Thémines reviewed ‘I recommend a woman seen from behind, fixing her bun. A jug is next to her.’ (R90I,p309). Charles Ephrussi reviewed ‘Of the same artist, a Femme à sa toilette, standing, seen from the back, badly moved, barely sketched, drawn to the punch and, one would think, without any sense of form.’ (R90I,p278). The yellow / blond bun is the most striking difference between the two works, so I follow Berson.
5IE-1880-40, Examen de danse; pastel; appartient à M. E.M.
See the descriptions of Goetschy, Huysmans (R90I,p283+291+292). Moffett suggests CR576 in Denver MA (R2,p323). Berson confirms. Now: 1880ca, CR576, The Dancing Examination, pastel, 62×47, Denver AM (iR2;iR59;R90II,p148+163;R26,no761;R2,p323;R90I,p283+291+292;M158). Compare: 2IE-1876-37.
5IE-1880-41, Danseuses; appartient à M. L…
Moffett suggests CR559 in Shelburne museum Vermont (R2,p303). Berson confirms. Now: 1879, CR559, Two Ballet Dancers, pastel, 45×65, Shelburne M (iR2;iR59;R90II,p148+163;R26,no738;R2,303;M153). Note: the catalogue didn’t indicate this work was a pastel.
Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. Berson also leaves the works unidentified. Silverstre (1880/04/24) reviewed ‘un admirable portrait of a lady in a rough execution’ (R90I,p306). Charles Ephrussi (1880/05/01) reviewed ‘busts of women drawn on yellowish paper and a study of a head (no.43)‘ (R90I,p278). Arthur Baignères (1880/04/10) mentioned ‘a head‘ being a pastel (R90I,p266), but it is unclear to which number he refers. Dalligny (1880/04/16) reviewed ‘M. Degas is a master pastelist; one of his portraits is of a brilliant and tight execution, and admirably posed. But why is he so fond of the incredible contortions of dancers that you’re sometimes tempted to mistake them for stuffed frogs.’ (R90I,p274), but this could well refer to one of the pastel dancers he exhibited, such as no.40+41. Huysmans (1883) reviewed ‘I shall point out two more superb drawings, one of which is a woman’s head which would be absolutely worthy of being placed near the drawings of the French school in the Louvre, and I will stand still, for some minutes, before the portrait of the late Duranty.’ (R90I,p290).
Both catalogue titles indicate a plural form, so I assume Degas showed at least 2×2=4 drawings. For no.42 I render as very uncertain options: 1874-75ca, CR479, Dancer (study), 41×33, Hermitage (iR2;R26,no480;R2,p311;R90I,p274+278); and: 1873ca, Seated Dancer in Profile (turned to the right; study), essence drawing, 23×30, Louvre (iR2;M5a;R90I,p290+274;R2,p311). As Dalligny wrote about ‘contortions of dancers’ I choose for these two busts / torsos dancers in a bit awkward position. Only the first one is drawn on yellowish paper. For no. 43 for the ‘study of a head / woman’s head / pastel head I render: 1880-85, CR620, Tête de femme, pastel, 36×31, A2007/11/08 (iR11;R26,no600). As Ephrussi talked about ‘busts of women’ I assume Degas exhibited another bust for which I render: 1880ca, CR605, Study for the torso of a (Spanish) dancer, pastel, 58×44, Orsay (iR23;R26,no755).
5IE-1880-44, Eaux-fortes. Essais et états de planches
Eng.: etchings; studies and states of planks. Moffett and Berson suggest Delteil no. 30, now: 1880ca, Mary Cassatt at the Louvre, Gallery of Antiquities, etch ps, 27×24, FAM San Francisco + Louvre + TMA Ohio (iR59;R90II,p148+164;R27,p25). Berson mentions there is discussion about this suggestion (R90II,p148). The plural form indicates that Degas showed several studies and states of at least two planks. I will render some states of Delteil 29 and 30, both representing Mary Cassatt at the Louvre. Delteil suggests that the first state of both works were probably made in 1876 (R138). Delteil distinguishes of no.29 20 different states and of no.30 6 different states. He also mentions that Degas made preparatory drawing studies. No.30 was intended for the publication ‘La jour et la nuit’ in which other ‘impressionists’ also participated. I will render 6 variations of Delteil 29 and 6 variations of Delteil 30, including drawings and pastels.
5IE-1880-44+hc1, La leçon de danse
Huysmans desribed ‘Another of his paintings is gloomy. In the huge room where they practice, a woman lies with her jaw in her fists, a statue of annoyance and exhaustion, while a comrade, the back skirts flapping over the back of the chair where she is sitting, looks, dumbfounded, at the groups frolicking, on the sound of a meagre violin.’ (R90I,p291). Note: he doesn’t describe the dancer that fixes her ribbon. Mantz reviewed ‘The view of a long, deep gallery where girls in gauze dresses are practising the difficulties of dancing is enveloped in a transparent, fine atmosphere.’ (R90I,p298). Moffett suggests CR625 of the Mellon collection in Upperville (R2,p324). Berson affirms. Now: 1879-85ca, CR625, The Dance Lesson, 38×88, NGA Washington (iR2;R90I,p291+298;R90II,p148+164;R2,p324;R26,no786).
5IE-1880-44+hc2, Portrait de M. Duranty
Huysmans gave in his extended review three descriptions of this pastel: ‘I shall point out two more superb drawings, one of which is a woman’s head which would be absolutely worthy of being placed near the drawings of the French school in the Louvre, and I will stand still, for some minutes, before the portrait of the late Duranty. (…) Mr. Duranty is there, in the middle of his prints and books, and his fingers are slender and nervous, his sharp and mocking eye, his pinch of English comedy, his dry little laugh into the the tube of his pipe. (…) Here, in Duranty’s portrait, patches of almost bright pink on the forehead, green in the beard, blue on the velvet of the collar; the fingers are made with yellow bordered with bishop’s violet. Up close, it is a blurring, a crosshatch of colours that hammer, break and seem to encroach on each other; A few steps away, all this harmonizes and melts into a tone of flesh, flesh that pulsates, that lives, as no one in France knows how to do anymore.’ (R90I,p290). Silvestre (1880/05/01) reviewed ‘Since my last article, the exhibition of M. Degas has been enlarged by a very important piece, the portrait of poor Duranty. … is sitting in front of his bookcase, his head resting on his left hand, which is almost closing one eye.'(R90I,p308). Berson, referring to these two reviews, writes: ‘In memory of Edmond Duranty, who died just after the opening of the 1880 exhibition, Degas added to his envoi the portrait of his friend, which had already figured in the fourth exhibition; see IV-58.’ (R90II,p148). She suggests: 1879, CR517, Edmond Duranty, pastel, 100×100, Glasgow AGM (iR10;iR6;R2,p36;R90II,p148+164). Lemoisne (1946) suggested this work was exhibited under number 36, but that contradicts the suggestion of Silvestre that it Degas’ exhibition had been enlarged. Note: the CR517 pastel doesn’t render a pipe as Huysmans decribes, but I couldn’t find a similar picture of Duranty with a pipe in his mouth. The rest of the descriptions fits very well. Did Degas later remove the pipe from this pastel? I will render it with a little uncertainty: =!?
5IE-1880-44+hc3, (Ballet danseuse)
Moffett suggests two options: 1.: CR828, A Ballet from an Opera Box in the Philadelphia MA, but this work is made around 1885 (R2,no816) Or 2.: CR476, Dancer with bouquet in the Rhode Island School of Design; now: 1878, CR476, Dancer with a Bouquet of Flowers, pastel, 40×50, Providence RISD (or Orsay), (iR2;R26,no509;R47,p57). Berson doesn’t follow this suggestion of Moffett and it stays unclear why Moffett makes these suggestions. I render CR476 also for 4IE-1879-68, Portrait dans une baignoire à l’Opera (pastel). So, I will render CR828 as option: 1885ca, CR828, Ballerina (seen from the Opera box; Lady with a Fan), pastel, 66×51, Philadelphia MA (iR53;iR380;iR10;R26,no816;R2,p311).
The 6th ‘impressionist’ exposition 1881:
- catalogue numbers 12-19 =8
- several works were exhibited outside the catalogue (=hors catalogue = hc); in total 4 titles of which hc3 maybe contained of 6 art-works and hc3 of 3.
- in total Degas exhibited about 19 works: 1 sculpture; about 6 oil paintings; 3 +6hc = 9 pastels; 1 drawing; 1 + 3hc = 4monotype
- 0x indication of place
- 0x indication of time, season or weather
- 0x a study; though no. 17+18 look like studies
- 0x loans (appartient à…)
- See for the suggestions of Moffett (R2,p354) and Berson (R90II,p180+190)
- See link for the pictures.
Enjoiras (1881/04/12) reviewed ‘M. Degas, who loves the oppositions of light and shade, and who has painted the dancers of the Opera and the singers of the cafés-concerts so well, offers this year only a few paintings.’ (R90I,p340).
Gustave Goetschy (1881/04/05) reviewed ‘Mr. Degas has chosen to exhibit his works in a cabinet covered in yellow. Of him, one can see just one painting, one drawing and two pastels. The catalogue promises seven paintings and, in addition, the famous wax statuette which we so ardently and vainly wished to see at last year’s Exhibition. The showcase for it is in place, however, and the artist has assured me that it will be on display tomorrow. So I’ll talk about it some other time.’ (R90I,p344).
6IE-1881-12, Petite danseuse de quatorze ans (statuette en cire)
According to Goetschy (1881/04/05) it was not displayed earlier than the 6th of april: ’the famous wax statuette which we so ardently and vainly wished to see at last year’s Exhibition. The showcase for it is in place, however, and the artist has assured me that it will be on display tomorrow. So I’ll talk about it some other time.’ (R90I,p344). Moffett suggests a sculpture in the Mellon collection in Upperville, Virginia (R2,p336+361), now part of the NGA Washington collection (see): 1881ca, the little fourteen year old dances, wax + applied materials, 99×35, NGA Washington (iR2;iR59;R2,p336+361;R90II,p180+190;R26,p160). The National Gallery renders a full description of the used materials: pigmented beeswax, clay, metal armature, rope, paintbrushes, human hair, silk and linen ribbon, cotton faille bodice, cotton and silk tutu, linen slippers, on wooden base (M21). Note: Degas intended to exhibit this work in 1880, but did not succeed. Probably the statue arrived after the 8th and before the 15th of April (the exposition started the 2nd) (R90II,p180). There are several musea who have a bronze version. See also R11,p220. Huysmans wrote that Degas did tumble down the traditions of sculpture with his work (R26,p164).
Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion for these 4 works. Berson leaves the work unidentified. Dalligny, Gonzague-Privat and Vernay all just mention the portraits but don’t describe them (R90I,p335-370). Silvestre (1881/04/11) reviewed ‘I come to the portraits of M. Degaz (sic) which I have kept for the good of my mouth. There is something imperious in his manner which is reminiscent of the master.’ and later (1881/04/16) ‘His portraits are a further affirmation of his personality.’ (R90I,p365+366). I render 4 very uncertain options of portraits, also to give a general impression of the portraits Degas made: No.13: 1875-77, CR378, Jérôme Ottoz, 46×37, A2011/02/09 (iR10;iR14;R26,no405;R2,p354;R90II,p180). No.14: 1875-80, CR389, portrait of a man, 55×45, MFA Boston (iR2;R26,no445). No. 15: 1876-80ca, CR463, Woman with an Umbrella, 61×50, NGC Ottawa (iR8;iR2;iR10;iR53;R26,no461;R2,p354;R90II,p180;M113). No.16: 1879ca, CR528, Red haired young woman, 52×42, Reinhart Winterthur (iR377;R26,no566;R2,p354;R90II,p180;M87).
6IE-1881-17, Physionomie de criminel
6IE-1881-18, Physionomie de criminel
Moffett suggests CR638 + 639 (R2,p342). Berson affirms. Now: 1881ca, CR638, Physiognomie de criminal, pastel, 64×76, private, (iR10;R26,no582) and: 1881, CR639, Criminal Physiognomies, pastel, 64×76, A2015/06/24 (iR2;iR14;iR11;iR59;R2,p354+342;R90II,p180+190). Enjoiras reviewed ‘I don’t like his portraits of criminals at all’ (R90I,p340). Goetschy reviewed ‘and the two pastel masters representing physionomies de criminels. These physhionomies are none other than those of Gille, Abadie and Kirail, strikingly similar and remarkably vivid.’ (R90I,p344); note Goetschy mentions 3 names, which corresponds the fact that in CR638, the 4th ‘criminal’ is cut off and only his high hat is visible. Huysmans reviewed ‘sketches: criminal physiognomies, animal faces, with low foreheads, protruding jaws, short chins, scaled and receding eyes’ (R90I,p348). Silvestre (1881/04/16) reviewed ‘I recommend both physionomies de criminels. This pastel mist has, somehow, the intensity of Daumier’s most vigorous figures.’ (R90I,p366).
Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. Berson omits this work. There were no reviews. As an uncertain option I render: 1880-85ca (1892-95), CR846, Woman Ironing, 80×64, WAG Liverpool (iR2;iR8;iR10;R26,no638)
6IE-1881-19+hc1, Vue de coulisses
Moffett suggests CR1024 in the NGA in Washington or CR500 in the Corcoran GA in Washington (R2,p360). Berson suggests CR715, she refers to some reviews: Enjoiras (1881/04/12) reviewed ’those two silhouettes of a man and a woman standing, near a backstage area behind which a theatre glows’ (R90I,p340); Note: he doesn’t speak of a dancer, which would plead for CR715. Goetschy reviewed ‘For the time being, I will limit myself to pointing out the very remarkable painting which shows us a young artist waiting in the wings for the reply which is to take her on stage’ (R90I,p344); note that he doesn’t refer to a man. Huysmans reviewed ‘a view from backstage, a gentleman clutching a woman almost hugging her legs between his thighs, behind a stand illuminated by the red blaze of the hall we glimpse’ (R90I,p348). I think these discriptions don’t fit CR500, that shows several dancers in the wings. CR1024 is a better suggestion: 1876-83ca (1890ca), CR1024, Dancers backstage, 24×19, NGA Washington (M21;iR2;iR377;R26,no859;R2,p360) =Duret sale 1894/03/16-12. CR715 is a good possibility, though the Huysmans decription ‘a gentleman clutching a woman almost hugging her legs between his thighs’ doesn’t apply. So I will render it as an uncertain option. CR715 was also in the Henri Rouart collection, no.17.5 in the 1912 auction catalogue.
Compare also 1IE-1874-56; 2IE-1876-47+48; 3IE-1877-52.
6IE-1881-19+hc2, Portraits en frise pour décorer un appartement
Elie de Mont. reviewed ‘What confounds me is the importance that these gentlemen, and M. Degas in particular, give to the least, the most insignificant of their productions. – See the portraits en frise pour décorer un appartement! Can we be so blind as to exhibit such a thing, which really belongs out the bottom of a carton box?’ (R90I,p362). Moffett suggests CR532 in a private collection (R2,p341). Berson affirms. Now: 1880ca, CR532, a frieze, three women, pastel and tempera, 50×65, private (iR2;R90II,p180+190;R26,no565). Compare 4IE-1879-67 that (maybe) wasn’t exhibited then. The person in the middle is Mary Cassatt (R26,no565).
6IE-1881-19+hc3, Drawings and sketches: Chanteuses en scène;
Berson leaves the work unidentified, but mentions the suggestions of CR372 and also CR458. Referring to the reviews of de Mont. and Huysmans she suggests that several drawings and studies of café-concet singers were exhibited. Huysmans reviewed ‘some drawings and sketches depicting female singers on stage stretching out wiggling paws (compare CR380+404+405+458) like those of the dumb Saxon magots and blessing the heads of the musicians above which emerges (CR404+405), in the foreground, like a huge five, the neck of a cello (CR372+404+405), or wiggling and bellowing in those enept convulsions which have brought near celebrity to that epileptic doll, the Bécat (CR372+380+458).’ (R90I,p348). Note: on Mll Bécat is also written: ‘singer, who is performing her frenzied, comic dance, with arms raised and fingers splayed, in her trademark style épileptique.’ (iR8). Elie de Mont. reviewed ‘All the little charges of café-concerts singers that appear there too, without appearing in the catalogue, would at most deserve the honours of a sketchbook! They become ridiculous in their pretense.’ (R90I,p362). Both reviews suggests several works that were exhibited. Maybe this included some esquisses noire (probably monoprints) as is mentioned under hc4.
Moffett suggests CR405 in Md Lyon or CR404 in Corcoran GA Washington, or CR372. The first one is now: 1875-77ca, CR405, Café Concert – At ´Les Ambassadeurs´, pastel, 37×26, MBA Lyon (iR2;R26,no413); Moffett also suggested this one for 3IE-1877-44. The second one is: 1877, CR404, The Café Concert, pastel, 24×43, CGA Washington (iR2;R26,no411); Moffett also suggests this one for 3IE-1877-43 (R2,p360). The last one is now: 1875ca, CR372, Mademoiselle Bécat aux ambassadeurs, litho pastel, 12×21, xx (iR10;R26,no385), this one is also mentioned by Berson. Berson also mentions CR458: 1877, CR458, Mlle Bécat aux Ambassadeurs, pastel over litho, 16×12, A2007/05/08 (iR11;R90II,p180;R26,no452). I also render: 1876-77ca, CR380, La ‘chanson du chien’, the song of the dog, pastel, 58×45, private (iRx;iR6;R26,no414. See info 3IE-1877-42. I also render one work with several drawings: 1877ca, Five rapid sketches (of a singer at a café-concert), dr, xx, JPGM Los Angeles (iR8). So in total I suggest 6 works exhibited as hc3.
6IE-1881-19+hc4, Esquisses noire: Femme nue; xx; xx.
Enjoiras reviewed ‘As for the black sketches by the same artist, with the exception of the nude woman, where one can also feel life in the act, they offer us only notes, which are undoubtedly interesting for friends who are curious to know more, but which leave the public indifferent.’ (R90I,p340), so suggestion more than three ‘black sketches’, including a naked woman of which Huysmans reviewed ‘a very striking naked woman at the end of a room’ (R90I,p348). Moffett suggests a monotype in the MFA Boston (Janis,1968,no180) or in the Stanford University Art Museum (R2,p363). Now: 1879ca, Room in a brothel, monotype ink, 21×16, Stanford UMA Palo Alto (iR10;R2,p363+354;Janis,1968,no87). Berson writes ‘Reviews indicate that one of Degas’s monotypes of a female nude was shown.’ (R90II,p180). Berson leaves the work unidentified. Referring to Janis (1968) she mentions as options the numbers 22, 42 (following Moffett) and also no.164. I only render the suggestion of Moffett, because it fits the description of Huysmans and also because I don’t know which pictures are Janis no. 22, 42, 164 and 180.
I assume that Degas showed at least 3 monotypes. When Enjoiras made one ‘exception’ out of two, he would have formulate it in a different way. I also assume that one monotype depicted a nude woman and the others something else, otherwise Enjoiras had to make clear which nude woman he made an exception for. In addition, I render two monotypes of café-singers. Elie de Mont. reviewed ‘All the little charges / caricature / loads of café-concerts singers that appear there too, without appearing in the catalogue, would at most deserve the honours of a sketchbook! They become ridiculous in their pretense.’ (R90I,p362); this review suggests that Degas showed several little ‘charges’ of café concert singers. A theme he had already depicted in hc3, but maybe also did in showing some monotypes. I render two uncertain options: 1877-78ca, Café Singer, monotype, 12×16, xx (iR91;R90I,p340+362); and: 1877-78ca, Mlle Bécat, monotype, 16×12, NGA Washington (M21;R90I,p340+362).
Compare other monotype drawings: 3IE-1877-58+59+60.
The 8th ‘impressionist’ exposition 1886:
- catalogue numbers 14-28.
- Mirbeau in his review clearly leaves out no.17+18, which aren’t mentioned in any of the many reviews, so maybe they were not exhibited.
- The catalogue mentions a serie of 10 nudes (no.19-28), but probably there were no more than 7 nudes exhibited (see below)
- so in total Degas probably exhibited no more than 10 works, all pastels.
- 0x indication of place
- 0x indication of time, season or weather
- 1x a study
- 7x loans (appartient à…),
- See for the suggestions of Moffett (R2,p443) and Berson (R90II,p240/1+258/9).
- See link for the pictures.
Paul Adam (1886/04) described ‘M. Degas, on the contrary (of Guillaumin), expresses monotonous bituminous tones. One senses a desire to make it dark in order to place some happy oppositions, some air slides, which will then more easily impress. But the drawing is very beautiful. Naked women washing and sponging themselves in Batracian postures; thighs, backs, hips contoured, swollen by squatting; short cuts of high science. And the line of Ingres, of whom M. Degas was a pupil, appears pure, sure and rare under the pencil that inscribed this fat bourgeois woman ready for bed, hands flat on her back, she contemplates herself, no doubt, in some invisible mirror. (=CR877) (R90I,p428).
Jean Ajalbert (1886/06/20) reviewed ‘This is followed by nudes of women bathing, washing, wiping themselves, and the water glides over the skin stretched in the effort of simian pisitions, and the flesh, although of a dull, defective color, gets wet under the sponge, gets dry under the cloth, lives.’ (R90I,p430).
George Auriol (1886/05/22) reviewed ‘I have long been ecstatic in front of a series of pastels that can be gathered under this title: La toilette. Naked women wash themselves in a zinc basin. A skinny and troublesome woman (?CR765+891) especially fascinated me. All this is drawn in a superb way. There are feet and hands that are masterpieces, and the suppleness of the line is such that, ceasing to be an outline, it becomes an enclosure.’ (R90I,p435)
The Bat (London; 1886/05/25) reviewed ’the four studies from the nude which Degas exhibits are at once a terror and a delight to behold. Here we are far from the slender-hipped nymphs who rise from the sea, or dream in green landscapes painted in the vicinity of Ville d’Avray. The short, coarse, thick tights of the poor working woman, deformed by the toil of modern days, have never been seen on canvas before; she is passing her chemise over her lumpy shoulders (=CRsupp113). A little to the right of her we have a woman sponging herself in a ten-and-six-penny tin bath (?CR765+872+816+etc). But the chef d’oeuvre is the short-legged lump of human flesh who, her back turned to us, grips her flanks with both hands (=CR877). The effect is prodigious. Degas has done what Baudelaire did – he has invented un frisson nouveau. Terrible, too terrible, is the eloquence of these figures.’ (R90I,p436).
Jules Desclozeaux (1886/05/27) reviewed ‘Brutally, the artist emphasized: the greyness of the skin, the traces of the clothing put out, the memory of blushes and powders of rice, the subtle tones of the wet skin, the violences which follow the drying. … a serious and gloomy undress, a taciturn indecency, a sad bestiality. … it is admirably seen …, a sharp look of surgeon’ (R90I,p440).
Félix Fénéon (1886/06/13-20) reviewed ‘Women fill with their cucurbit squatting the shell of the tubs: one, the chin to the chest, rasps the neck (CR872), the other, in a torsion which makes it turning, the arm stuck to the back, with a sponge that foams works the coccygeal regions (CR765). An angular spine stretches; forearms, releasing breasts in virgouleuses, plunge vertically between legs to wet a washbasin in the water of a tub where feet soak (CR816). A hair falls on shoulders, a bust on hips, a belly on thighs, limbs on their upper legjoints, and this ugly woman, seen from the ceiling, standing in front of her bed, hands clasped to her bottom, looks like a series of cylinders, slightly bulging, which fit together (CR877). From the front, kneeling, thighs disjointed, torso bent over; a girl wipes herself (CRsupp82).’ ((R90I,p441). Note: Fénéon clearly described 5 different nudes.
Henry Fèvre reviewed in La Revue de demain ‘In shady boudoirs of matriculated houses, where ladies fulfill the social and utilitarian role of great collectors of love, maflue dondons wash themselves, brush themselves, soak themselves, wipe themselves in bowls as large as troughs. The skin is yellow, of a stained color that comes from the dull light, as if passing through horn vibrators, penetrating with great difficulty into the room by piercing the piled up hangings of a window that looks onto a dirty backyard, strangled like a well.’ (R90I,p446).
Victor Fournel (1886/06/10) reviewed ‘M. Degas, who remains the great man of the school, and whose scandalous studies of female nudes, deliberately shameless to a kind of cynicism, made with a firm and brutal hand, on a model whose distinction is far from equalling that of Maritorne, obtain an unwanted success.’ (R90I,p449)
Gustave Geffroy (1886/05/26) reviewed ‘It is these last pieces, six in number, which can give the surprised eye the most exact and highest idea of this great talent which is difficult to approach. Who, there will be surprise for the eyes accustomed to flesh made of wood, sugar, soap foam, alabaster, pink mother-of-pearl, flesh raked, bleached, pink, blown, flesh according to the academic or worldly formula which clutter the picture rails of the Salons and graceful exhibitions. (…) It is the woman who is there in these six postures (…) He wanted to paint the woman who does not know she is being looked at, as she would be seen, hidden by a curtain, or through a keyhole. That’s how he came to see her, bending down (CR872+816+876), straightening up in her tub (CR?), feet reddened by the water (?CR849), mopping her neck (CR872+730?), standing up on her short, massive legs, reaching out to put her shirt back on (CRsupp113), wiping herself, on her knees, with a towel (=CRsupp82), standing with head down and rump outstretched (CR816+837+891), or turned sideways (CR765+707+883+915). He saw her at ground level, near the marbles cluttered with scissors, brushes, combs and false hair (=CR872), – and he has concealed nothing of her frog-like appearance, the ripening of her breasts, the heaviness of her lower parts (CR877+supp113+890+1079), torso bending of her legs, the length of her arms, the astonishing appearances of her stomachs (CR877+875), knees and feet in unexpected shortcuts.’ (R90I,p452) Cited by Octave Maus (R90I,p462/3).
Emile Hennequin (1886/06/19) reviewed ‘M. Degas, beside some valuable portraits, exhibits above all ten pastels of naked women in their toilette. We can admire a prestigious drawing that unfortunately does not accompany any virtuosity of a colorist.’ (R90I,p454) Note: Hennequin mentions 10 pastels of nude women, but probably he just referred to the 10 catalogue numbers, as he doesn’t describe the individual works.
Maurice Hermel (1886/05/27) reviewed ‘His women at the Tub, his nudes are anatomical problems solved by an amazing draughtsman poetised by a first-rate colorist. This one, the bust carried on the left on the unfolded thigh, arching of an arm at the bottom of the tub, is rubbing the nape of the neck with the right hand (=CR872). (…) This other one, leaning forward with her left elbow on her knee, is soaking the sponge with her right hand (=CR816). The spine and the hip give a winding and angular arabesque of an exquisite thinness. It is a muted harmony, amber, crossed by greenish reflections, where charming notes are detached, roses and lilacs passed of a bathrobe of big wool. (CR816). Less original perhaps, but still more tasty, the woman who is getting dressed. A sturdy bather, in the open air, in a corner of greenery widely pencilled, who sledes over her upraised elbows the white linen which is going to cover her plump nudity. How well she pulls her shirt over her arms, back and loins; how well she moves from her neck to her heels! (…) Consider the delicious harmony of all the elements, the whiteness of the linen impregnated with tender green and lilac is a joy for the eyes, the flesh pinked in the light, burnished in the half-tone, infinitely shaded by the ambient atmosphere, has substance and its own quivering life, that it is all the truth enriched by the rarest coloring and you will understand that the lovers of porcelain nymphs, see in this beautiful piece of painting only a vulgar slattern. (=CRsupp113)’ (R90I,p455;iR2,p452).
J.-K. Huysmans reviewed ‘(…) Here, it is a redhead, fat and stuffed, bending the spine, making the bone of the sacrum appear on the tense roundness of her bottom; she breaks, trying to bring the arm behind the shoulder in order to squeeze the sponge that drips on the spine and laps along the loins (CR872); she’s a blonde standing, squat, short and fat, also turning her back to us; … hands on her bottom, … (=CR877); and also a fat lady squatting (Nl. gehurkt); she is leaning all to one side, elevating to one leg, hands on rump, is reached in the zinc tub (CR765); and at last, viewed, this time, on the front, wipes the top of the belly (CRsupp82).’ (R90I,p458)
Labruyère (1886/05/17) reviewed ‘M. Degas has fifteen paintings, pastels or drawings here. (…) Underneath (no.14+15), a series of women’s studies, of a complete bad taste and an abolished lack of art. With a useless and crude illumination.’ (R90I,p460). Note: Labruyère mentions 15 works, which corresponds the catalogue numbers, except for no.14+15 there is not a detailed description, so maybe this is not accurate.
Roger Marx (1886/05/17) reviewed ‘The opinion has not changed with regard to M. Degas – who, together with M. Forain, is the triumphant of this curious exhibition.’ (R90I,p461).
Octave Maus (1886/06/27) reviewed ‘The one whose name first comes to mind, the oldest and also the strongest, is Degas. A master, in all the splendour of the term.’ (R90I,p462)
Octave Mirbeau (1886/05/21) reviewed ‘M. Degas exhibits a portrait of a man, two interiors of milliners and a series of naked women washing, drying themselves and taking their tub. (…) Obviously, these drawings are not meant to inspire the passion for women, nor the desire for the flesh. M. Degas has not, in these nude studies, sought sensuality or grace; he has not concerned himself with the sentimental pose… twisted, deformed anatomies’ (R90I,p465). Note: Mirbeau left out no.17+18.
Moniteur des arts (1886/05/21) reviewed ‘With all due respect: we present to you a convinced, a sincere, Mr. Degas, the leader of the Independents.’ (R90I,p467)
La Petite République française (1886/05/21) reviewed ‘M. Degas, the head of the movement of impressionism, is there with half a dozen naked women who are bathing, washing, drying themselves, combing themselves in their homes;’ (R90I,p470). Note: 6 nudes.
La République française (1886/05/17) reviewed ‘Room 4, (…) finally, seven or eight pastels by M. Degas. The eminent artist has done better than these heavy bodies of ugly women, caught in strange positions or in occupations that are really too intimate.’ (R90I,p472). Note: it is unclear if the 7 or 8 pastels refer only to his nudes or to all his exhibited works.
Jules Vidal (1886/05/29) reviewed ‘M. Degas, too, does not shine in sincerity; apart from his modistes, of a precise, logical tone, he gives us half a dozen rebuses in smoky, heavy tones.’ (R90I,p472) Note: 6 ‘rébus’.
X. reviewed in La Liberté (1886/05/18) ‘Let’s go back, right now, to pure impressionism: the section of the impenitent. The first of these – it is true that he is an initiator – is M. Degas. (…) but the other works are far inferior. The painter, moreover, has chosen a series of nudes … It is hideous to see..’ (R90I,p473/4).
8IE-1886-14, Femme essayant un chapeau chez sa modiste (pastel); appartient à Mme. A.
Moffett suggests CR682 in the Metropolitan (R2,p435). Berson affirms. Now: 1882, CR682, At the Milliner’s, pastel, 76×86, Metropolitan (iR10;M23;iR59;iR2;R90II,p240+258;R26,no586). Degas one time earlier exhibited a work of milliners with the Impressionists see 2IE-1876-57. See also the descriptions of Ajalbert, Auriol, Fèvre, Hermel, Labruyère (1886/05/17) (R90I,p430+435+446+456+460).
8IE-1886-15, Petite modistes (pastel); appartient à M. A.R.
Moffett suggests CR681 in the NAMA in Kansas City (R2,p437). Now: 1882, CR681, The Little Milliners, pastel, 48×69 , NAMA Kansas city (iR2;iR59;R90II,p240+258;R26,no587). See no.14. Ajalbert reviewed ‘Another pastel shows the workshop where two workers are working; … are indeed those who earn two francs per day, and build hats at twenty louis’ (R90I,p430), thus mentioning a common social injustice. See also the descriptions of Ajalbert, Hermel, Labruyère (1886/05/17) (R90I,p430+456+460).
8IE-1886-16, Portrait (pastel)
Félix Fénéon mentioned ‘a protrait of the peinter Zacharian’ (R90I,p442) and Octave Maus (1886/06/27) reviewed ‘At last, the portrait of the peinter Zakarian, proud eye, raised moustache, energetic face, nervous hand, asserts the penetration and the power of evocation of the master-painter.’ (R90I,p463). Moffett suggests CR831 in a private collection in Paris. Berson affirms, so does Sothebys (iR14). Now: 1885ca, CR831, Portrait of Zacharie Zacharian, pastel, 40×40, A2015/11/04 (iR2;iR14;iR10;R90II,p240+258;R26,no642).
8IE-1886-17, Ébauche de portraits (pastel)
Eng.: Draft / sketch of portraits (pastel). Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. Berson leaves the work unidentified (there were no reviews), but she mentions the suggestion for CR824, now: 1885, CR824, Six Friends of the Artist at Dieppe, pastel, 115×71, Providence SDMA (iR2;iR8;R90II,p240;R26,no641;R27,p73). Note: The work renders 6 portraits of friends; this can explain the plural form in the title. Mirbeau in his review clearly leaves out no.17+18, which aren’t mentioned in any of the many reviews, so maybe they were not exhibited.
8IE-1886-18, Têtes de femme
Moffett doesn’t give a suggestion. Berson leaves the work unidentified (there were no reviews), but she mentions the suggestion for CR868, Mlle Salle, now: 1886, CR868, mademoiselle Salle, pastel, 50×50, xx (iR10;iR13;R90II,p240;R26,no651). Note 1: the title doesn’t indicate this work was a pastel. Note 2: The work suggested renders Mlle Salle 3 times, this corresponds the plural form in the title. Mirbeau in his review clearly leaves out no.17+18, which aren’t mentioned in any of the many reviews, so maybe they were not exhibited.
8IE-1886-19-28, Suite de nuds de femmes se baignant, se lavant, se séchant, s’essuyant, se peignant ou se faisant peigner (pastels):
Eng: A serie of nude women who are bathing, washing, drying, wiping of, combing themselves or who are combed (pastels):. ‘Nuds’ is writing error for ‘nues’ (R2,p452), though none of the reviews mentions so and even cite ‘nuds’.
Note: there are 6 activities mentioned in the titles. Moffett mentions that probably there weren’t 10 works shown. Huysmans described only 4 works, this corresponds ‘4 studies from the nude’ as is mentioned by The Bat. Fénéon mentions 5 activities. Geffroy describes (at least) 5 poses and explicitly mentions ‘six in number’. But Geffroy also refers to ’these six postures’, maybe referring to the 6 activities in the titles. La petite République française and Vidal also mention 6 nudes. Hennequin mentions 10 nudes and Labruyère 15 works in total, but both probably mention the information from the catalogue. When we look at the descriptions CR872, CRsupp113 and CR877 (no. 19, 22, 24) are clearly described in several reviews. CR816, CRsupp82 and CR765 (no.21, 23, 25) are rather clearly described in a few reviews. A last work is only described by Fénéon in a later review (no.26). So probably at most there were 7 works exhibited.
Moffett does several suggestions: CR717, CR728 (Orsay), CR738 (Tate), CR765 (Glasgow AGM); CR815 (NSM Pasadena); CR816 (Metropolitan); CR847 (Metropolitan); CR848 or 849; CR872 (Orsay); CR875 (Metropolitan); CR876 Hillstead M Farmington; CR877 (Pearlman Foundation New York). Furthermore a work in the Hermitage and in NGA Washington. See also R2,p430+453+454. Berson is more specific and I will mainly follow her suggestions. She leaves the numbers 20+26+27+28 unidentified.
8IE-1886-19-1 ; appartient à M.E.B
As no.19 (or 20) Berson identifies a work owned by Emile Boussod. Now: 1886, CR872, the tub, 60×83, pastel, Orsay (iR6;R90II,p240+258;R26,no920;R47,p103;R11,p314/5). Also suggested by Moffett. Clearly described by Geffroy as ‘He saw her at ground level, near the marbles cluttered with scissors, brushes, combs and false hair’ and also ‘bending down … in her tub’ and ‘mopping her neck’ (R90I,p452). Fénéon describes ’the chin to the chest, rasps the neck’ (R90I,p441). Hermel described ’the bust carried on the left on the unfolded thigh, arching of an arm at the bottom of the tub, is rubbing the nape of the neck with the right hand’ (R90I,p455). Huysmans described ‘Here, it is a redhead, fat and stuffed, bending the spine, making the bone of the sacrum appear on the tense roundness of her bottom; she breaks, trying to bring the arm behind the shoulder in order to squeeze the sponge that drips on the spine and laps along the loins’ (R90I,p458). Mirbeau described ‘The woman squatting in the tub and pressing a sponge on her back’ (R90I,p465).
8IE-1886-20-2; appartient à M.E.B.
Concerning no.20 Berson mentions that CR847 is suggested, now: 1885ca, CR847, Woman Having Her Hair Combed, pastel, 74×60, Metropolitan (iR2;R26,no918). The suggestion is made because it is the only pastel of this date showing a woman having her hair combed, a subject cited in the group title of the suite, and that it was probably owned by Emile Boussod.’ But Berson suggests: ‘The lack of any mention of it in the reviews, suggests it was not shown.’ (R90II,p240). I still will render it, adding that it was probably not exhibited. Another option for no.20 is: 1885-86, CR875, After the bath, pastel, 50×54, Metropolitan (M23;R26,no926;R2,p443), probably is was part of the Emile Boussod collection, it is a work that is also mentioned by Moffett. But the given descriptions don’t clearly refer to CR875, so I will not render it.
8IE-1886-21-3; appartient à M.R.B.
As n0.21 Berson identifies CR816, now: 18xx, CR816, Woman bathing in a shallow tub, pastel, 81×56, Metropolitan (R90II,p240/1+259). This corresponds the review of Geffroy ‘wiping herself, on her knees, with a towel’ (R90I,p452). Fénéon described ‘An angular spine stretches; forearms, releasing breasts in virgouleuses, plunge vertically between legs to wet a washbasin in the water of a tub where feet soak’ (R90I,p441). Hermel described ‘This other one, leaning forward with her left elbow on her knee, is soaking the sponge with her right hand. The spine and the hip give a winding and angular arabesque of an exquisite thinness. It is a muted harmony, amber, crossed by greenish reflections, where charming notes are detached, roses and lilacs passed of a bathrobe of big wool.’ (R90I,p455). Mirbeau described ’the bent one, with a horizontal back, rubbing her feet,’ (R90I,p465).
8IE-1886-22-4; appartient à M.M.
As n0.22 Berson identifies 1885, CRsup113, Après la bain, femme s’essuyant, (Girl Drying Herself), pastel, 80×51, NGA Washington (iR2;iR59;R90II,p241+259;R2,p452), a work also suggested by Moffett. Note: the National Gallery suggests it was ‘possibly’ exhibited and mention that the first known owner was Dikran Khan Kélékian, the work was auctioned 1922/01/31 (M21), so it is well possible he wasn’t the first owner. This work corresponds the following descriptions: The Bat (1886/05/25) ‘The short, coarse, thick tights of the poor working woman, deformed by the toil of modern days, have never been seen on canvas before; she is passing her chemise over her lumpy shoulders ‘ (R90I,p436). Maurice Hermel (1886/05/27): ‘Less original perhaps, but still more tasty, the woman who is getting dressed. A sturdy bather, in the open air, in a corner of greenery widely pencilled, who sledes over her upraised elbows the white linen which is going to cover her plump nudity. How well she pulls her shirt over her arms, back and loins; how well she moves from her neck to her heels! (…) Consider the delicious harmony of all the elements, the whiteness of the linen impregnated with tender green and lilac is a joy for the eyes, the flesh pinked in the light, burnished in the half-tone, infinitely shaded by the ambient atmosphere, has substance and its own quivering life, that it is all the truth enriched by the rarest coloring and you will understand that the lovers of porcelain nymphs, see in this beautiful piece of painting only a vulgar slattern.’ (R90I,p455;iR2,p452). Geffroy (1886/05/26) also refers to ‘reaching out her arms to put the slip back on’. Fénénon (1886/06/13-20) reviewed ‘But this is the outdoors: A woman near a river in the greenery, wiggles her shirt around, ballooning on high bowing arms.’ (R90I,p441). Note: there are not many works of women bathing outdoors made by Degas and as far as I know this is the only one before April 1886.
8IE-1886-23-5; appartient à M.H.
As no.23 Berson identifies 18xx, CRsupp82, Femme s’essuyant après le bain, pastel, 50×50, Hermitage (R90II,p241+259), probably the ‘Hermitage-work’ that Moffett referred to. She remarks it was previously thought to be CR738, now: 1883ca, CR738, Woman in a Tub (Femme au bain), pastel, 69×69, Tate (iR2;R26,no885). Fénéon described ‘From the front, kneeling, thighs disjointed, torso bent over; a girl wipes herself ‘ (R90I,p441). Huysmans described ‘viewed, this time, on the front, wipes the top of the belly’ (R90I,p458).
As no.24 Berson identifies 1886ca, CR877, The Morning Bath, 67×52, Pearl Foundation (iR2;R90II,p241+259;R2,p454), also suggested by Moffett. Paul Adam described ’this fat bourgeois woman ready for bed, hands flat on her back, she contemplates herself, no doubt, in some invisible mirror.’ (R90I,p428). Jean Ajalbert (1886/06/20) reviewed ‘Today, he painted this plump woman, with hips packed on short legs, the back wrinkled with fat. (…) In front of the bed, the hands on a too abundant bottom, she seems to look for herself in a mirror which cannot reflect her all. she will get dressed, and one guesses a tiny husband; …’ (R90I,p430). The Bat decribed ’the short-legged lump of human flesh who, her back turned to us, grips her flanks with both hands’ (R90I,p436). Fénéon described ‘A hair falls on shoulders, a bust on hips, a belly on thighs, limbs on their upper legjoints, and this ugly woman, seen from the ceiling, standing in front of her bed, hands clasped to her bottom, looks like a series of cylinders, slightly bulging, which fit together’ (R90I,p441). Huysmans described ‘she’s a blonde standing, squat, short and fat, also turning her back to us; … hands on her bottom, …’ (R90I,p458). Mirbeau described ’this drawing of a woman, fat, short, with round and blown flesh, who leans her hands on her huge buttocks. The head is small, the legs are bowed, a little stiff, the arms thin, silly, baby arms, which end with a short, stubby hand, attached to a bulge of fat.’ (R90I,p465).
As no. 25 Berson identifies CR765, now: 1884ca, CR765, woman in bath tube, pastel, 45×65, AGM Glasgow (iR59;R26,no908), also mentioned by Moffett (R2,p443). Fénéon described ‘in a torsion which makes it turning, the arm stuck to the back, with a sponge that foams works the coccygeal regions ‘ (R90I,p441). Huysmans described ‘a dondon (fat lady / a balance) squatting (Nl. gehurkt); she is leaning all to one side, elevating to one leg, hands on rump, is reached in the zinc tub’ (R90I,p458). Note: the woman depicted is not a ‘fat lady’, I’m not sure about the French expression of ‘dondon’.
For no.26 Berson mentions the suggestion of CR1075, now: 1890-1900ca, Deux femmes aux bain, pastel, 56×80, xx (R90II,p241;R26,no1000). This fits partly a review of Fénénon (1886/06/13-20) ‘Three village women, beastly and with thick limbs, enter into a river, with curved backs, bulging out the enormity of the thighs, where the sun crashes, weeping the air of of their simpering, half-stretched arms, advancing towards the open water, at laborious pace; on their limbs a wolfhound is panting.’ (R90I,p441). The later date makes it not suited, but maybe Degas did rework it later. Sure is that in the Fénénon discription there are 3 women and in CR1075 there are two. It would be very interesting to research this picture with X-ray to see if and how Degas reworked his works. This would shed a light on the dating of his works and maybe it would broaden the possibilities for the works he exhibited for this suite in 1886. I couldn’t find a picture of CR1075, in stead to compare I render CR1076, a work that partly fits the description of Fénénon: 1890-95ca (18xx), CR1076, Femmes au bain, pastel, 57×82, A2015/02/04 (iR10;iR14;R26,no1000-1006cp;R114,no1076;R2,p444;R90I,p441).
Berson omits the numbers 27+28.
The description ‘se peignant‘ (combing her hair) in the title corresponds with: 1885-88ca, CR849, Female Nude, from the Rear, Fixing Her Hair, pastel, 64×53 or 71×59, private (iR2;R2,p443;R26,no914), also mentioned by Moffett. I assume CR848 suggested by Moffett has the same theme; Dony mentions the work (no.915), but doesn’t render a picture. As another alternative I mention: 1884-85ca, CR898, Femme se peignant (Woman combing her hair), pastel, 50×50, Hermitage (iR6;R47,p96); a work that is not suggested by Moffett. CR849 also corresponds with the description of Desclozeaux (1886/05/27) ‘the red marks caused by toweling‘ (R2,p453). But, Sothebys suggests that Degas intended to exhibit one of these works, but he didn’t (iR14). This could be right because I couldn’t find such a description in the reviews. Still, I will render CR849 and will add that it was probably not exhibited: 1885-88ca, CR849, Female Nude, from the Rear, Fixing Her Hair, pastel, 64×53 (or 71×59), private (iR2;R26,no914;R2,p443).
Edgar Degas / de Gas at the Salon:
Here below you will find an impression of the pictures that Degas exhibited at the Salon. See link for the pictures.
S1865-2406 Scène de guerre au moyen âge; pastel
Degas his debut at the Salon. Now: 1865, CR124, War Scene from the Middle Ages (The Suffering City of Orléans), thinned oil, 81×147, Orasy (iR2;R47,p35;R26,no107;R27,p93). Note: Dony talks about a pastel (R26,p12), which is also indicated by the Salon database (iR1). The French Wikipedia site describes it as thinned oil on paper laid on canvas, which Dony also mentions (iR4;R26,no107).
S1866-520 Scène de steeple-chase
Now: 1866, CR140, Scene from the Steeplechase (The Fallen Jockey, 180×152, NGA Washington (iR35;R47,p34;R26,no167;R27,p93). Receives good critics (R47,p33).
S1867- 444 Portrait de famille
Now: 1858-67, CR79, family portrait (the Bellelli family), 200×253, Orsay, (iR6;R47,p20,7;R26,no139). it did not receive much attention (R11,p107).
S1867- 445 Portrait de famille
Never identified with certainty. Options are: 1866-70, CR265, Portrait of Mme Lisle and Mme Loubens, 85×97 , AI Chicago (iR10;iR2;R26,no265;R47,p7). And: 1865-6, two sisters, Giovanna and Giulia Bellelli, 92×73, CMA Los Angeles (iR2;R47,p37,7;R26,no215). Another option is: 1865ca, Two sisters; the nieces of the painter, 57×70, WA Hartford (R27,p15).
S1868-686 Portrait de Mlle E. F… ; à propos du ballet de la Source
Now: 1866-68, CR146, Eugénie Fiocre à propos du ballet ‘La Source’, 130×145, NY Brooklyn M (iR2;R47,p8;R26,no282;R27,p93;R27,p29). Note the rendering of details (R47,p40).
S1869-661, Portrait de Mme G…
Now: 1867, CR165, Joséphine Gaujean, 59×44, ISGM Boston, (iR2;R47,p8;R26,no224;R27,p93). It was hung on a very bad spot (R47,p34). Also exhibited as 3IE-1877-53.
The next work was rejected: 1869, CR207, Madame Camus at the Piano, 139×64 (or: 142×95), Bührle, (iR2;R47,p7,34;R26,no246;R27,p19).
S1870-758, Portrait de Mme C…
Now 1870, CR271, Madame Camus with a Fan, 73×92, NGA Washington, (iR2;R47,p8+47;R26,no258;R27,p93). Maybe also exhibited as 2IE-1876-43, Portrait, le soir.
S1870-3320 Portrait de Mme G…. ; pastel
Now probably: 1869, CR214, Madame Théodore Gobillard (Yves Morisot), pastel, 48×30, Metropolitan (iR8;iR2;R26,no250). Last time he submitted (R47,p47;iR1;R27,p93). Maybe also exhibited as 2IE-1876-42, Ébauche de portrait, pastel
Exposition Univerelle 1900:
At the Exposition Universelle in Paris there were 2 paintings and 5 pastels exhibited (R47,p121).
Degas at Centennial exhibitions:
Posthumous there were 4 art-works exhibited at the Centennial exhibition in 1912 in Saint-Petersbourg.
Saint-Petersbourg-1912-176. Femme au miroir : Portrait of a Woman at the Mirror]
Saint-Petersbourg-1912-177. La Repasseuse (Woman Ironing] [Jacques Doucet in Paris]
Saint-Petersbourg-1912-178. Nu, drawing
Saint-Petersbourg-1912-179. Danseuse [Barbazanges in Paris]
Degas at regional exhitions:
Degas hardly exhibited at regional exhibitions.
Rouen-1907-62, Danseuses vues à mi-corps.
Correspondance address at M.M. Bernheim.
Degas at La Libre Esthétique in Brussels:
15LE-1908-42. Danseuses, pastel
15LE-1908-43. La Coiffure, pastel
Recommanded citation: “Edgar Degas, an account of his exhibited art-works. Last modified 2023/02/03. https://www.impressionism.nl/degas-account/.”