Man in Profile
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Edgar Germain Hilaire Degas
French, about 1877


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An unknown man stares out to the left, drawn in a sharp profile that emphasizes his high-domed head and projecting beard. Edgar Degas first drew him with a much smaller head, then raised up his forehead and skull, giving the man a more substantial presence. Quick, parallel lines form the sitter's dark mustache, while softer, curving strokes create the paler wisps of his beard. Degas only lightly sketched in his subject's clothing, with merely a few lines to indicate the rounded collar of a dinner jacket and a black necktie.