Etching on wove paper
Sheet: 14.7 x 11.2 cm (5 13/16 x 4 7/16 in.); Plate: 11.9 x 8.7 cm (4 11/16 x 3 7/16 in.); Image: 10.2 x 7.5 cm (4 x 2 15/16 in.)
Dudley P. Allen Fund 2022.257
Catalogue raisonné: Reed and Shapiro 10, Adhémar 12, Delteil 6
State: State III/III
Edition: Edition of 4
Early scholars believed that this print might be a portrait of Edgar Degas’s mother. Today, instead, it has been tied to a drawing of the same year that depicts a similar but unidentified woman sewing.
Although Edgar Degas is known for his depictions of modern Parisian life, early in his career the artist focused on portraiture. This etching was created after time spent closely studying the prints of Northern master Rembrandt van Rijn at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Degas emulated the elder artist’s distinctive mark making to record the likeness of this woman, whose identity is unknown today. Like many of Degas’s prints, this work was never editioned and exists in only four impressions.
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