Edgar Degas

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Edgar Degas
Study of a Male Nude
Black chalk on blue paper.
12 1/8 x 8 3/4 inches (307 x 221 mm)
Bequest of John S. Thacher.

Watermark: none.
Inscribed and dated in black chalk, at lower right, "Roma 1856"; stamped in red ink on added lower right corner, "Degas"; numbered in pencil at lower left corner of secondary support, "4350A"; numbered on verso of secondary support in pencil, "11548 - A".

The artist's atelier (Lugt 658); his sale, Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, 2-4 July 1919, lot 116a, repr.; John S. Thacher, Washington, D.C.

Ryskamp, Charles, ed. Twenty-First Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984-1986. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1989, p. 333.


The eldest son of a bourgeois banking family, Degas began studying law in 1853, though he soon turned his attention to copying works in the Louvre. The following year, he entered the studio of Louis Lamothe, a pupil of J. A. D. Ingres. There, and at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (1855-56), Degas underwent formal training in draftsmanship before leaving Paris in July 1856 to study in Rome independently. Once in Italy, the artist filled sketchbooks and sheets with studies of models and copies of old masters. This sensitive academic study of a nude model dates from his first year in Rome and is similar to the preparatory sketches for his early large history paintings. --Exhibition Label, from "Degas: Drawings and Sketchbooks"

Associated names: 

Thacher, John S., former owner.

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