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.
Inscription: Signed (upper right): Degas
[Boussod, Valadon & Cie, Paris; sold to Havemeyer]; Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer, New York (by 1922–d. 1929; cat., 1931, p. 186, ill.)
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 11–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.
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, , p. 377, pl. 117, calls it "Danseuse debout à l'eventail" and dates it about 1883.
Fiorella Minervino inL'opera completa di Degas. Milan, 1970, p. 123, no. 821, ill., dates it about 1885.
Charles S. Moffett. Degas in the Metropolitan. Exh. brochure, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1977, p. , 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 inDegas. 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 inMasterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. Ed. Colin B. Bailey, Joseph J. Rishel, and Mark Rosenthal. 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 inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 285.
Gretchen Wold inSplendid 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 inEdgar Degas: Defining the Modernist Edge. Ed. Jennifer R. Gross. Exh. cat., Yale University Art Gallery. New Haven, 2003, p. 50 n. 7.
Colin B. Bailey inMasterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. Ed. Susan Alyson Stein and Asher Ethan Miller. 4th rev. ed. [1st ed., 1989]. New York, 2009, pp. 30–31 n. 8, fig. 25.
Richard Kendall inNineteenth-Century European Paintings at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Ed. Sarah Lees. Williamstown, Mass., 2012, vol. 1, p. 275 n. 26.
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).