Dec 16, 2005

Mary Cassatt at the Louvre: The Paintings Gallery

Mary Cassatt at the Louvre: The Paintings Gallery


Edgar Degas

(French, 1834–1917)

Etching, softground etching, aquatint, and drypoint

Support: Cream (3) heavy laid paper

Platemark: 30.2 x 12.6 cm (11 7/8 x 4 15/16 in.); Sheet: 36.3 x 26.6 cm (14 5/16 x 10 1/2 in.)

Gift of Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. 1947.459

Catalogue raisonné: Reed & Shapiro 52

State: VII/XX (only known impression of this state)


Did you know?

The figure seated in the foreground is believed to be Mary Cassatt's sister, Lydia.


Degas and his friends Mary Cassatt and Camille Pissarro were all experimental printmakers who combined traditional printmaking techniques to create a black and white equivalent for the tonality and varied textures of paintings. They were all so involved in printmaking that in 1879–80 they planned to publish a journal, Le Jour et la nuit (Day and Night), that would contain original etchings. As a printmaker, Degas was ambivalent about when a plate was considered finished. What attracted him to printmaking was the variability. He thoroughly enjoyed reworking, retouching, and transforming plates, often progressing toward more subtle painterly effects.

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