Waiting (L'Attente)

Object Details

Title:

Waiting (L'Attente)

Artist/Maker(s):

Edgar Degas (French, 1834 - 1917)

Culture:

French

Date:

about 1882

Medium:

Pastel on paper

Dimensions:

48.3 x 61 cm (19 x 24 in.)

Credit Line:

Owned jointly with the Norton Simon Art Foundation, Pasadena

See more

See less

A young ballet dancer bends forward to massage her foot, while her somberly dressed older companion sits silently beside her on a bench. They appear to be waiting, perhaps for an audition or its outcome. The two figures are a study in contrasts: The athletic dancer dressed in a dazzling costume reflects the glamour and artifice of the stage, while the shabbily dressed, bent figure represents the drabness of everyday life.

Edgar Degas painted modern life; his subjects, including laundresses, milliners, nightclub singers, horse races, and the ballet, reflected contemporary Parisian occupations and diversions. From the 1860s onward, Degas frequented the Paris Opéra, where he made numerous studies of performances, rehearsals, and backstage scenes. Later, he would refine and combine these motifs in his studio, in exercises of daring technical skill and compelling psychological subtlety. Here he demonstrated his complete mastery of the pastel technique. Delicately blended strokes are combined with bold hatching and emphatic slashes; pink, blue, and creamy tones describe the dancer in contrast to the dark, severe form of the older woman.

Provenance
- 1892

Léon-Marie Clapisson, 1837 - 1894 (Paris, France), sold to Galerie Durand-Ruel, 1892.

1892 - 1895

Galerie Durand-Ruel (Paris), sold to Henry Osborne and Louisine Havemeyer, New York, 1895.

1895 - 1907

Mr. Henry Osborne Havemeyer, 1847 - 1907 (New York, New York)

1895 - 1907

and Mrs. Louisine Havemeyer, 1855 - 1929 (New York, New York), upon the death of Henry Osborne Havemeyer, retained by Louisine Havemeyer.

1907 - 1929

Mrs. Louisine Havemeyer, 1855 - 1929 (New York, New York), by inheritance to Horace and Doris Havemeyer, 1929.

1929 - 1956

Mr. Horace Havemeyer, 1886 - 1956 (New York, New York)

1929 - 1956

and Mrs. Doris Havemeyer, 1890 - 1982 (New York, New York), upon the death of Horace Havemeyer, retained by Doris Havemeyer.

1956 - 1982

Mrs. Doris Havemeyer, 1890 - 1982 [sold, Havemeyer sale, Sotheby's, New York, May 18, 1983, lot 8, to the Norton Simon Museum and the J. Paul Getty Museum]

Exhibitions
Loan Exhibition of Masterpieces by Old and Modern Painters (April 6 to April 24, 1915) (Cat. 34)
  • Knoedler & Company, (New York), April 6 to April 24, 1915
Degas, 1834-1917 (November 7 to December 7, 1936) (Cat. 41)
  • Pennsylvania Museum of Art, (Philadelphia), November 7 to December 7, 1936
Degas at the Getty (March 7 to June 11, 2006) (no cat.)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 7 to June 11, 2006
Bibliography

Mauclair, Camille. The Great French Painters and the Evolution of French Painting from 1830 to the Present Day (London: Duckworth and Co., 1903), p. 45, ill.

Mauclair, Camille. "Edgar Degas." La revue de l'art ancien et moderne 14, no. 80 (November 10, 1903), p. 389, ill.

Moore, George. "Degas." Kunst und Künstler 6 (1907-8), p. 145, ill.

Geffroy, Gustave. "Degas." L'art et les artistes 7 (April-September 1908), p. 16, ill.

Lecomte, Georges. "La crise de la peinture française." L'art et les artistes 12 (October 1910-March 1911), p. 26, ill.

Loan Exhibition of Masterpieces by Old and Modern Masters, exh. cat. (New York: M. Knoedler & Co., 1915), p. 20, no. 34.

"Loan Exhibition in Aid of Suffrage: Behind the Scenes Types Shown To-day with Miss Cassatt's Work." The Sun (April 6, 1915), p. 7.

Lafond, Paul. Degas. 2 vols. (Paris: H. Floury, 1918-19), vol. 2 (1919), p. 30, ill. facing p. 36.

L'art et les artistes, n.s., 9, no. 47 (May 1924), p. 322, ill.

Jamot, Paul. Degas (Paris: Éditions de la gazette des beaux-arts, 1924), p. 151, pl. 58b.

Vollard, Ambroise. Degas (1834-1917). Trente-deux phototypies hors texte (Paris: Éditions G. Crès et cie., 1924), ill. facing p. 112.

Vollard, Ambroise. Degas: An Intimate Portrait. Randolph T. Weaver, trans. (London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1928), p. 103, ill.

Alexandre, Arsène. "La collection Havemeyer. 2me étude: Edgar Degas." La renaissance 12, no. 10 (October 1929), p. 483, ill.

H. O. Havemeyer Collection: Catalogue of Paintings, Prints, Sculpture and Objects of Art (n.p.: n.p., 1931), pp. 382-83, ill.

Rivière, Georges. M. Degas, bourgeois de Paris (Paris: Librairie Floury, 1935), p. 85, ill.

Degas, 1834-1917, exh. cat. (Philadelphia: Pennsylvania Museum of Art, 1936), pp. 33, 93, no. 41, ill.

Mauclair, Camille. Degas (Paris: Éditions Hypérion, 1937), pp. 117, 167, ill.

Lemoisne, Paul A. Degas et son oeuvre. 4 vols. (Paris: Paul Brame et C. M. de Hauke, 1946; repr., New York and London: Garland, 1984), vol. 1, p. 115, ill. facing p. 150; vol. 2, pp. 394-95, no. 698, ill.

Browse, Lillian. Degas Dancers (London: Faber and Faber, 1949), p. 362, pl. 71.

Rich, Daniel Catton. Edgar-Hilaire-Germain Degas (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1951), pp. 98-99, ill.

Havemeyer, Louisine W. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector (New York: n.p., 1961), pp. 246, 258.

Russoli, Franco, and Fiorella Minervino. L'opera completa di Degas (Milan: Rizzoli, 1970), p. 122, no. 778, ill.

Clark, Kenneth. The Romantic Rebellion: Romantic versus Classic Art (London: John Murray; Sotheby Parke Bernet, 1973), p. 320.

Weitzenhoffer, Frances Renee. The Creation of the Havemeyer Collection, 1875-1900. Ph.D. diss. (City University of New York, 1982), pp. 241, 403, fig. 74.

Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York. Impressionist Paintings and Drawings from the Estate of Doris D. Havemeyer. May 18, 1983, unpaginated, lot 8, ill.

"Havemeyer: Sotheby's se défend." Connaissance des arts, no. 377/378 (July-August 1983), p. 28, ill.

Marion, John, and Julian Thompson. "Preface." Art at Auction: The Year at Sotheby's (1982-83), pp. 10-11, fig. 1.

Hildesley, C. Hugh. "The Havemeyer Collection of Impressionist Art." Art at Auction: The Year at Sotheby's (1982-83), pp. 96, 100-101, fig. 5.

Duret-Robert, François. "Le goût des Havemeyer." Connaissance des arts, no. 375 (May 1983), pp. 66, 68-69, fig. 10.

Hoving, Thomas. "Auction Fever." Connoisseur 213, no. 855 (May 1983), p. 11, ill.

"Promise Fulfilled by New York Havemeyer Sale." Studio International 196, no. 1000 (July 1983), p. 60, ill.

"Principales acquisitions des musées en 1983." La chronique des arts: Supplément à la gazette des beaux-arts, 6th ser., 103, no. 1382 (March 1984), p. 34, no. 210, ill.

"Acquisitions/1983." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 12 (1984), pp. 314-15, no. 17, ill.

McMullen, Roy. Degas: His Life, Times, and Work (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1984), pp. 367, 472, ill.

Robinson, Susan Barnes, ed. The French Impressionists in Southern California: Paintings, Sculptures and Prints in Public Collections; A Guidebook and Catalogue (Los Angeles: Loyola Marymount University, 1984), pp. 34-35, ill.

Wilson, William. The Los Angeles Times Book of California Museums (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1984), p. 176.

Failing, Patricia. "How the J. Paul Getty Trust Will Spend $90 Million a Year." Artnews 83, no. 4 (April 1984), p. 69, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B. "Recent Acquisitions of Paintings: The J. Paul Getty Museum." The Burlington Magazine 127, no. 985 (April 1985), p. 268, fig.107.

Bernard, Bruce, ed. The Impressionist Revolution (London: Orbis, 1986), pp. 205, 261, ill.

Lipton, Eunice. Looking into Degas: Uneasy Images of Women and Modern Life (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986), p. 103, fig. 61.

Weitzenhoffer, Frances. The Havemeyers: Impressionism Comes to America (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1986), p. 107, pl. 58.

Bentley, Toni. "What's Wrong with Degas? A Dancer's View of the Master's Ballet Classics." Art & Antiques (November 1987), p. 75, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B. Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum. Rev. ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988), unpaginated, no. 44, ill.

Herbert, Robert L. Impressionism: Art, Leisure, and Parisian Society (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1988), pp. 118-19, pl. 120.

Boggs, Jean Sutherland. "Degas et la maternité." In Degas inédit: Actes du colloque Degas, Musée d'Orsay, 18-21 avril 1988 (Paris: Documentation française, 1989), p. 42.

Heilbrun, Françoise. "Sur les photographies de Degas." In Degas inédit: Actes du colloque Degas, Musée d'Orsay, 18-21 avril 1988 (Paris: Documentation française, 1989), p. 177, fig. 6.

Wein, Jo Ann. "Pissarro's Market Women: The Imagery of Social Relations in an Industrial Society." Ph.D. diss. 2 vols. (City University of New York, 1990), vol. 1, pp. 126-27; vol. 2, p. 310, fig. 65.

Sion, Georgia. Degas' Ballet Dancers (New York: Universe, 1992), pp. 54-55, ill.

Clark, Kenneth. The Romantic Rebellion: Romantic Versus Classic Art. Excerpt in Modern Arts Criticism. Vol. 3. Tina Grant and Joann Cerrito, eds. (Detroit and London: Gale Research Inc., 1993), pp. 138, 172, ill.

Stein, Susan Alyson. "Chronology." In Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection, exh. cat. (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993), p. 219.

Tinterow, Gary. "The Havemeyer Pictures." In Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection, exh. cat. (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993), p. 47.

Gruitrooy, Gerhard. Degas (Nashville: Nelson Regency, 1993), pp. 72-73, ill.

Wold, Gretchen. "Appendix." In Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection, exh. cat. (New York: Metropolitan Musuem of Art, 1993), pp. 333, 335, no. 237, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B., et al. Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995), unpaginated, no. 42, ill., entry by Burton B. Fredericksen.

Thomson, Richard. Degas: Waiting (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995), passim.

Kendall, Richard. Degas Backstage (London: Thames and Hudson, 1996), p. 78, ill.

Shackelford, George T. M. Edgar Degas (New York: Abbeville Press, 1996), p. 193, ill.

Schacherl, Lillian. Edgar Degas: Dancers and Nudes (Munich and New York: Prestel, 1997), p. 30, ill.

Durand-Ruel, Caroline. "Quand les Havemeyer aimaient la peinture française." Conaissance des arts, no. 544 (November 1997), p. 107.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 33, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B. et al. Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Paintings (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 107, no. 58, ill., entry by Burton B. Fredericksen.

Muchnic, Suzanne. Odd Man In: Norton Simon and the Pursuit of Culture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), pp. 259-60.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 138, ill.

Dumas, Ann, et al. Degas e gli italiani a Parigi, exh. cat. (Ferrara, Italy: Palazzo dei Diamanti, 2003), p. 310, under no. 56, entry by Francesca Castellani.

Allen, Denise, et al. Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, with Thames & Hudson, 2003), p. 103, no. 55, ill., entry by Burton B. Fredericksen.

Dumas, Ann. "Degas e gli italiani a Parigi." In Degas e gli italiani a Parigi, exh. cat. (Ferrara, Italy: Palazzo dei Diamanti, 2003), pp. 47, 50-51, fig. 24.

Shimada, Norio. Inshoha bijutsukan: The History of Impressionism (Tokyo: Shogakukan, 2004), p. 295, fig. E.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 137, ill.

Kear, Jon. The Treasures of the Impressionists (London: Andre Deutsch, 2008), p. 38, ill.

Campbell, Sara, et al. Degas in the Norton Simon Museum: Nineteenth-Century Art, Volume II (Pasadena: Norton Simon Art Foundation, with Yale University Press, 2009), pp. 172-77, no. 20, ill., entry by Richard Kendall.

Kendall, Richard. "Redefining Degas: The Norton Simon Collection." In Degas in the Norton Simon Museum: Nineteenth-Century Art, Volume II (Pasadena: Norton Simon Art Foundation, with Yale University Press, 2009), pp. 36-37, ill.

Campbell, Sara. Collector without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, with Norton Simon Art Foundation, 2010), pp. 202, 437, no. 1704, fig. 12.

Education Resources

Education Resource

Subjects

Grades

Format

Remembering Waiting

Students discuss body language in the pastel Waiting by Edgar Degas. They draw a memory of when they had to wait and write a narrative.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts

K-2

Three/Five-Part Lesson

Related Media
  • /
    Audio: Waiting (1)