Landscape with Path Leading to a Copse of Trees, ca. 1890–92
Signed and inscribed at lower right in charcoal, á M. Charpentier / Degas.
Pastel and thinned oil paint, over monotype printed in thinned oil paint
In the early 1890s, when Degas' work became increasingly less naturalistic, he produced a series of pure landscapes that freely interpret the scenery he encountered on his way to visit the painter and printmaker Georges Jeanniot in the village of Diénay, near Dijon. There Degas produced about fifty monotypes, which he enhanced with vivid pastel work. The group was shown by Durand-Ruel in Paris in 1892.
For the present monotype, Degas prepared a metal plate with a layer of thinned salmon-colored oil paint and roughly indicated elements of the landscape with a brush. He ran the plate through a press, producing a print. He completed the print with vigorous strokes of paint and an extensive layer of wet and dry pastel to achieve exceptionally atmospheric results.