Edgar Degas

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Edgar Degas
Dancer with Arms Outstretched
Black and white chalk, squared in black chalk.
9 1/4 x 13 1/8 inches (227 x 321 mm)
Thaw Collection.

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Inscribed by the artist below the left arm: "reflets (dans les ?) bras".

Fourth Degas atelier sale (Lugt 658), Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 2-4 July 1919, IV, p. 247, no. 284a; Le Niveau Gallery, New York; Marie Harriman Gallery, New York; Marie and Averell Harriman Collection, New York; sale, Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, 18 May 1972, no. 89; Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw, New York.

Thaw Catalogue Raisonné, 2017, no. 86, 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. 97.


By the late 1870s, Degas had become increasingly absorbed by the behind-the-scenes activities at the ballet. This study of a dancer in second position is for a ballerina in The Rehearsal (1878-79; Frick Collection, New York), which shows dancers practicing with a violinist in the rehearsal studio. Both the Frick painting and the present drawing were in the collection of Degas' lifelong friend, the industrialist and Impressionist supporter Henri Rouart (1833-1912). Degas' note about the reflections on the dancer's arm attests to his focus on how light defines the girl's body; the squared grid indicates that Degas transferred the figure to another support while working on his canvas. --Exhibition Label, from “Degas: Drawings and Sketchbooks”

Associated names: 

Thaw, Eugene Victor, former owner.
Thaw, Clare, former owner.

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