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    Sale 7601

    Impressionist and Modern Works on Paper

    25 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 344

    Edgar Degas (1834-1917)

    Le Discobole (recto and verso)

    Price Realised  


    Edgar Degas (1834-1917)
    Le Discobole (recto and verso)
    with the black stamp 'Nepveu Degas' (recto, lower left; not in Lugt); inscribed 'Rome' (recto, lower right); inscribed 'Rome' (verso, lower right)
    pencil on paper (recto and verso)
    15 x 10½ in. (37.9 x 26.5 cm.)
    Drawn probably in Rome in 1857-1858

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    According to Professor Theodore Reff, the present drawing was executed by Degas during a life drawing class at the Villa Médicis in Rome, circa 1857-1858, when he was living there. Although Degas was not a pensioner at the Villa Médicis, he was still given permission to draw from the model. There was another drawing of the same model in the Nepveu-Degas collection. Reff states: 'The style of both drawings seems to me characteristic of Degas's draftsmanship at that time, as seen in many other academies as well as copies after the Old Masters that he made in the same years. Already evident here is his mastery of the figure's foreshortened arms and concentrated expression and his skill in using incisive contour lines to define forms and finely graded shading strokes to give them a strong effect of volume and luminosity.' (in a letter dated 15 March 2008).

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    Jean Nepveu-Degas, Paris, by descent from the artist; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 6 May 1976, lot 71.
    Claude Putscher, Quissac, by whom acquired at the above sale.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in April 1979.