Edgar Degas

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Edgar Degas
Rosa Adelaide Aurora Degas, the Duchess Morbilli
ca. 1858
Watercolor with white opaque watercolor and black chalk on wove paper.
14 1/2 x 7 9/16 inches (368 x 192 mm)
Thaw Collection.

Degas' grandfather fled the revolution in France and settled in Naples, though his eldest son--Degas' father--would later return to Paris. The artist' s Neapolitan relatives appear in numerous painted and drawn portraits that were executed while he was in Italy. Rosa (1805-1879), the eldest sister of Degas' father, married Giuseppe Morbilli, Duca di S. Angelo a Frosolone, who died in 1842, leaving her with seven children to support. Her eldest son, Gustavo, died during the 1848 revolution in Italy. This early watercolor--a technique Degas rarely used--was likely executed about 1858 in Naples. The intelligent countenance of the artist's fifty three-year-old aunt renders her among his most compelling familial subjects. --Exhibition Label, from “Degas: Drawings and Sketchbooks”

Fourth Degas atelier sale (Lugt 658), Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, 2-4 July 1919, IV, p. 97, no. 102b, repr.; Durand-Ruel, Paris; William M. Ivins, Milford, Connecticut; sale, Parke Bernet, New York, 24 November 1962, no. 32, repr.; Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw, New York.
Associated names: 

Ivins, William Mills, 1881-1961, former owner.
Thaw, Eugene Victor, former owner.
Thaw, Clare, former owner.


Thaw Catalogue Raisonné, 2017, no. 78, 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. 92.

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