You are here

Degas Sketchbook

This large notebook, distinguished by numerous images drawn from memory, was purchased by Degas' friend Ludovic Halévy for the artist's use during after-dinner conversation. The subjects range from the whimsical to the thoughtful, with quick portraits of dinner guests, sketches of dancers, and scenes from a Turkish bath.

Degas and Halévy were both deeply involved in the world of music and theater and intrigued by details of modern life and popular entertainment. In one sketch, the artist depicted the subject of his 1879 painting, the dangling form of Miss La La, a contemporary circus sensation, along with a focused study of the mouthpiece she used in her act.