An Album of Pencil Sketches

Object Details

Title:

An Album of Pencil Sketches

Artist/Maker(s):

Edgar Degas (French, 1834 - 1917)

Culture:

French

Date:

about 1877

Medium:

Pencil on heavy wove paper

Dimensions:

24.8 x 33 cm (9 3/4 x 13 in.)

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In 1877 Edgar Degas attended weekly soirées at the home of his friend Ludovic Halévy, a writer of opera librettos and popular romances. At these gatherings, Degas drew portraits of his friends and made studies for his own work. He quickly filled this sketchbook with drawings that show his preoccupation with a variety of theatrical themes, including the café-concert and the ballet. When he completed the sketchbook, Degas presented it to his friend, who shared his passion for theater and music. Halévy later added inscriptions to many of the pages--a useful addition for scholars, as they distinguish Degas's contributions from those by other friends who occasionally drew in the book. Halévy inscribed the date 1877 and the words Croquis de Degas (Degas's Sketchbook) on the book's cover.

During his lifetime, Degas filled thirty-eight sketchbooks, using them for a variety of purposes: recording the appearance of a work of art he admired or a person he observed, visualizing a fictional scene he had read, or experimenting with a new idea. For scholars, this important collection of reliably dated documents provides first-hand information on aspects of his working methods.

Related Works
Provenance
about 1877

Ludovic Halévy, 1834 - 1908

1908

Daniel Halévy, 1872 - 1962, by descent

after 1962

Private Collection (Switzerland)

Wildenstein & Company

Exhibitions
Exposition Degas au profit de la ligue Franco-Anglo-Américaine contre le cancer: Peintures, pastels et dessins, sculptures, eaux-fortes, lithographies et monotypes (April 12 to May 2, 1924) (188)
  • Galerie Georges Petit, (Paris), April 12 to May 2, 1924
Les Goncourts et leur temps (1946) (599)
  • Musée des Arts Décoratifs, (Paris), 1946
Portrait Drawings 1500 - 1900 (January 30 to May 12, 1996) (599)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), January 30 to May 12, 1996
The Compositional Drawing from the 16th to the 19th Century (April 16 to June 30, 1996) (599)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), April 16 to June 30, 1996
Master Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998) (599)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998
Edgar Degas, Photographer (October 8, 1998 to August 22, 1999) (Page: Unknown)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 2 to March 28, 1999
Edgar Degas: The Painter of Dancers (October 20, 2002 to May 11, 2003) (139 and 140; Page 23 and 35; Catalogue by J. DeVonyer and R. Kendall)
  • The Detroit Institute of Arts, (Detroit), October 20, 2002 to January 12, 2003
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art, (Philadelphia), February 16 to May 11, 2003
Edgar Degas in Bronze: The Complete Sculptures (June 28 to September 28, 2003) (139 and 140; Page 23 and 35; Catalogue by J. DeVonyer and R. Kendall)
  • San Diego Museum of Art, (San Diego), June 28 to September 28, 2003
Degas at the Getty (March 7 to June 11, 2006) (no cat.; Page 13)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 7 to June 11, 2006
Defining Modernity: European Drawings 1800-1900 (June 5 to September 9, 2007) (Page 35)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 5 to September 9, 2007
A Light Touch: Exploring Humor in Drawing (September 23 to December 7, 2008) (Page 7)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), September 23 to December 7, 2008
Endless Forms (February 12 to October 4, 2009) (313; Page 11 and 57)
  • Yale Center for British Art, (New Haven), February 12 to May 3, 2009
  • The Fitzwilliam Museum, (Cambridge), June 16 to October 4, 2009
Crime et Châtiment (March 15 to June 27, 2010) (313; Page 11 and 57)
  • Musée d'Orsay, (Paris), March 15 to June 27, 2010
Degas and the Nude (October 9, 2011 to July 1, 2012) (134)
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, October 9, 2011 to February 5, 2012
  • Musée d'Orsay, (Paris), March 12 to July 1, 2012
Bibliography