Edgar Degas

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Edgar Degas
Achille Gouffé, Double Bass Player at the Paris Opéra
7 3/8 x 4 3/4 inches (188 x 121 mm)
Thaw Collection.

Inspired by Japanese prints, Degas placed the cropped figure of the bass player Gouffé--seen from behind--in the extreme foreground of the painting The Orchestra of the Opera (Musée d'Orsay, Paris). The viewer is situated in the audience directly behind the orchestra pit, with a view past Gouffé to the footlit stage. This drawing is from a sketchbook that contained two other drawings for the same composition, although X-radiographs of the painting reveal that the figure of Gouffé was added only at a late stage in the work's elaboration. -- Exhibition Label, from "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection"

Mlle Dihau (according to inscription on back of old mount); Marcel Guérin, Paris; Daniel Guérin, Paris; Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw, New York.
Associated names: 

Dihau, Mlle., former owner.
Guérin, Marcel, 1873-1948, former owner.
Guérin, Daniel, former owner.
Thaw, Eugene Victor, former owner.
Thaw, Clare, former owner.


The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY, "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection", 2017. Exh. cat., no. 79, repr.
Stampfle, Felice, and Cara D. Denison. Drawings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene V. Thaw. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1975, no. 94.

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