This drawing and another by Degas (MMA 19.51.6), both purchased at the sale of the contents of Degas's studio in 1918, are preparatory studies for an etched portrait of Manet made about 1866–68, a few years after the two painters first met in the Louvre.
Degas portrayed Manet several times: He made a drawing of Manet watching the races at Longchamps (MMA 19.51.8) and a painting that showed him listening to Mme Manet playing the piano. Upon receiving the painting, Manet was dissatisfied with his wife's likeness and cut off her side of the canvas, an act which enraged Degas and soured the artists' friendship.
Marking: RECTO stamped in red ink, lower left: mark of the Degas estate sale (Lugt 658); stamped in ochre ink, lower center: mark of MMA; numbered in red, lower right: 19.51.7; VERSO stamped in red ink, lower right: mark of Degas atelier (Lugt 657); inscribed in blue pencil: Ph 174 [Photo taken by Durand-Ruel]
Atelier Degas; Vendor: Galeries George Petit, Paris, Atelier Degas,Sale II, 1918
Lyman Allyn Art Museum. "Fourth Anniversary Exhibition: Drawings," March 2, 1936–April 15, 1936.
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Newark Museum. "Nineteenth Century Master Drawings," March 16, 1961–April 30, 1961.
Saint Louis Art Museum. "Drawings by Degas," January 20, 1967–February 26, 1967.
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James Bolivar Manson The Life and Work of Edgar Degas. London, 1927, p. 48.
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Ronald Pickvance Degas 1879: Paintings, pastels, drawings, prints and sculpture from around 100 years ago in the context of his earlier and later works Exh. cat., The National Galleries of Scotland. Edinburgh, 1979, fig. no. 55, p. 60, ill.
John Canaday "The elegant, exuberant art of Edouard Manet." Smithsonian. 1983, p. 94, ill.
Françoise Cachin, Charles S. Moffett, Michel Melot Manet 1832-1883. Exh. cat., Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Paris and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. New York, 1983, fig. no. 3, p. 17, ill.
Sue Welsh Reed, Barbara Stern Shapiro Edgar Degas: The Painter as Printmaker. Exh. cat., Boston, Philadelphia, and London. Boston, 1984, cat. no. See 17, fig. no. 17a, pp. 46-47, ill.
Horst Keller Edgar Degas. Munich, 1988, fig. no. 34, p. 46, ill.
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Nicholas Wadley Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Drawing. Laurence King Publishers, London, 1991, fig. no. 14, p. 110, ill.
Felix Baumann, Marianne Karabelnik, Jean Sutherland Boggs Degas Portraits. Ex. cat. Kunsthaus Zürich, London, December 2, 1994- - June 18, 1995, cat. no. 62, pp. 254, 330, 33, ill.
Ann Dumas, Colta Ives, Susan Alyson Stein, Gary Tinterow The Private Collection of Edgar Degas. Ex. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1997, fig. no. 368, p. 282, ill.
Christopher Lloyd, Christine Ekelhart Impressionism: Pastels, Watercolors, Drawings. Exh. cat., Milwaukee Art Museum, Oct. 14, 2011-Jan. 8, 2012 and at the Albertina Vienna, Feb. 10-May 13, 2012. Austrian edition. Vienna and Cologne, 2012, fig. no. 36, 113, 117, ill.