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Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas (1834–1917)
Black chalk on paper
6 3/16 X 7 1/4 inches (157 x 183 mm)
Thaw Collection; EVT 272
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A series of self-portraits, drawn and painted, emerged from Degas' youthful period, before 1859. This study was a private exercise in proficiency and discipline and remained in portfolios in Degas' studio until his death.

In the Renaissance manner, Degas explored his visage using light and shadow to model form, deftly achieving subtle effects with fine black chalk. Executed on a half sheet of French paper, this study may have been undertaken just prior to or shortly after his arrival in Rome.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.