Degas often experimented by mixing drawing media and printmaking techniques. In this case, he first produced a monotype of two singers on stage seen from behind with a view to the audience—a perspective that exploits the intimacy and the proximity to performers that Degas (and other wealthy patrons) enjoyed through privileged behind-the-scenes access. Degas then enlivened the general, slightly abstracted forms of the print with richly colored pastels. The two popular singers depicted here, Emélie Bécat and Theresa (Emma Valadon), appear in other works by Degas.
Thaw Catalogue Raisonné, 2017, no. 82, repr.
Denison, Cara D. et al. The Thaw Collection : Master Drawings and New Acquisitions. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1994, no. 79.