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: Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, Atelier Degas,Sale II, 1918
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