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Dancer with a Fan

Edgar Degas (French, Paris 1834–1917 Paris)

Date:
ca. 1880
Medium:
Pastel on gray-green laid paper
Dimensions:
24 x 16 1/2 in. (61 x 41.9 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Accession Number:
29.100.188
  • Gallery Label

    This study is for the central figure in Degas's Dancers in the Classroom of about 1880 (Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass.). In the present drawing, the dancer is at least twice as large as she appears in the painting. Her tutu is also noticeably shorter, emphasizing the rhyming shapes of the flared skirt and open fan.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed (upper right): Degas

  • Provenance

    [Boussod, Valadon & Cie, Paris; sold to Havemeyer]; Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer, New York (by 1922–d. 1929; cat., 1931, p. 186, ill.)

  • Exhibition History

    New York. Grolier Club. "Prints, Drawings and Bronzes by Degas," January 26–February 28, 1922, no. 85 (as "Danseuse à l'eventail").

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The H. O. Havemeyer Collection," March 10–November 2, 1930, no. 155 [2nd ed., 1958, no. 119].

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Degas in the Metropolitan," February 26–September 4, 1977, no. 33 (of works on paper).

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Degas," September 27, 1988–January 8, 1989, no. 222.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection," March 27–June 20, 1993, no. A231.

    Omaha. Joslyn Art Museum. "Degas and the Little Dancer," February 7–May 3, 1998, no. 30.

  • References

    H. O. Havemeyer Collection: Catalogue of Paintings, Prints, Sculpture and Objects of Art. n.p., 1931, p. 186, ill.

    P[aul]. A[ndré]. Lemoisne. Degas et son œuvre. [reprint 1984]. Paris, [1946–49], vol. 3, p. 470, under no. 820, pp. 472–73, no. 823, ill., dates it 1885 and states that it is a study for "The Dancing Lesson" (Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass.), which he dates the same year.

    Lillian Browse. Degas Dancers. New York, [1949], p. 377, pl. 117, calls it "Danseuse debout à l'eventail" and dates it about 1883.

    Fiorella Minervino in L'opera completa di Degas. Milan, 1970, p. 123, no. 821, ill., dates it about 1885.

    Charles S. Moffett The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Degas in the Metropolitan. New York, 1977, p. [12], no. 33, dates it 1880–82.

    Geneviève Monnier. Pastels du XIXe siècle: Musée du Louvre, Cabinet des dessins; Musée d'Orsay. Paris, 1985, p. 69, under no. 60, considers it contemporary with a sheet of studies of a dancer with a tambourine (Musée d'Orsay, Paris), which she dates about 1882; erroneously identifies it as MMA 29.100.557, another drawing of a dancer with a fan which dates from 1890–95.

    Michael Pantazzi in Degas. Exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris. New York, 1988, pp. 339, 342, no. 222, ill. (color), dates it about 1880 and claims that the Havemeyers probably bought this work from the artist before 1907 [see Ref. Wold 1993; a photocopied list in the archive file indicates that the Havemeyers bought this picture through Boussod-Valadon]; remarks that it is "one of the few representations of a dancer in repose that gives the impression the subject is reacting to the gaze directed toward her".

    Mari Kálmán Meller. "Exercises in and around Degas's Classrooms: Part II." Burlington Magazine 132 (April 1990), p. 260, fig. 26, describes this figure as "almost monumentalised by her placing on the paper".

    Colin B. Bailey in Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 1991, pp. 14, 138 n. 9, fig. 25, compares it to the pastel "Dancer" of the same year (MMA 2001.202.2).

    Susan Alyson Stein in Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 285.

    Gretchen Wold in Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, pp. 332–33, no. A231, ill.

    Richard Kendall. Degas and the Little Dancer. Exh. cat., Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha. New Haven, 1998, pp. 10, 18, 174, no. 30, colorpl. 30, remarks that this dancer's "slender physique and taut features have much in common" with the model for the sculpture "The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer".

    Jill DeVonyar and Susan D. Greenberg in Edgar Degas: Defining the Modernist Edge. Exh. cat., Yale University Art Gallery. New Haven, 2003, p. 50 n. 7.

    Colin B. Bailey in Masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. 4th rev. ed. [1st ed., 1989]. New York, 2009, pp. 30–31 n. 8, fig. 25.

    Richard Kendall in Nineteenth-Century European Paintings at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, Mass., 2012, vol. 1, p. 275 n. 26.



  • Notes

    This pastel was used for the central figure in the painting "The Dancing Lesson" (about 1880; Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass.; L820).

  • See also
436135

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