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EDGAR DEGAS (1834-1917)
EDGAR DEGAS (1834-1917)

FEMME ASSISE DANS UN FAUTEUIL, S'ESSUYANT L'AISSELLE GAUCHE

Details
EDGAR DEGAS (1834-1917)
FEMME ASSISE DANS UN FAUTEUIL, S'ESSUYANT L'AISSELLE GAUCHE
STAMPED WITH SIGNATURE, NUMBERED AND STAMPED WITH FOUNDRY MARK ON THE TOP OF THE BASE 'DEGAS [LUGT 658] 43/C A.A. HEBRARD CIRE PERDUE'
BRONZE WITH DARK BROWN PATINA
HEIGHT: 12.5/8IN. (32CM.)
ORIGINAL WAX VERSION EXECUTED IN 1896-1911; THIS BRONZE VERSION CAST IN 1919-1920
Provenance
GALERIE CHALETTE, NEW YORK (ACQUIRED BY WILLIAM RAND, 1955)
Literature
J. REWALD, DEGAS: WORKS IN SCULPTURE, A COMPLETE CATALOGUE, LONDON, 1944, NO. LXXII (ANOTHER CAST ILLUSTRATED, FIG. 84)
F. MINERVINO, L'OPERA COMPLETA DI DEGAS, MILAN, 1970, NO. S.60 (ANOTHER CAST ILLUSTRATED, P. 144)
C.W. MILLARD, THE SCULPTURE OF EDGAR DEGAS, PRINCETON, 1976, P. 134 (ANOTHER CAST ILLUSTRATED)
J. REWALD, DEGAS'S COMPLETE SCULPTURE: CATALOGUE RAISONN, SAN FRANCISCO, 1990, NO. LXXII (ANOTHER CAST ILLUSTRATED, P. 182)
A. PINGEOT AND F. HORVAT, DEGAS SCULPTURE, PARIS, 1991, NO. 60 (ANOTHER CAST ILLUSTRATED, P. 181)
S. CAMPBELL, "A CATALOGUE OF DEGAS' BRONZES," APOLLO, VOL. CXLII, NO. 402, AUG., 1995, NO. 43 (ANOTHER CAST ILLUSTRATED, P. 31)

Lot Essay

FEMME ASSISE DANS UN FAUTEUIL, S'ESSUYANT L'AISSELLE GAUCHE BEARS SIMILARITIES TO NUMEROUS PAINTINGS AND PASTELS IN WHICH DEGAS DEPICTS A SEATED BATHER DRYING HERSELF. BY REWORKING THE SUBJECT IN THE THIRD DIMENSION OF SCULPTURE, AND ELIMINATING ALL COLOR EXCEPT THE RICH REDDISH-BROWN HUE OF THE WAX (SIMULATED IN THE TONE OF THE PATINA ON THE BRONZE CAST), DEGAS REVEALS THE CLASSICAL ASPECT OF THIS POSE. BATHER AND CHAIR ARE COMPLETELY AND CONVINCINGLY INTEGRATED: THE RESULT IS MONUMENTAL. WITH CHARACTERISTIC ATTENTION TO DETAIL AND SUBTLE EFFECTS, DEGAS CAREFULLY WORKS THE SURFACE SO THAT LIGHT PASSES OVER IT IN A LIVELY, IMPRESSIONISTIC MANNER; IT HAS BEEN SUGGESTED THAT THE SCULPTURE OF MEDARDO ROSSO MAY HAVE INFLUENCED HIS MODELING TECHNIQUE AT THIS LATER STAGE IN HIS CAREER. IN CONTRAST TO THE ITALIAN SCULPTOR'S FRAGILE WAX-COVERED FIGURES, HOWEVER, DEGAS INVESTS HIS SUBJECT WITH FULL SCULPTURAL WEIGHT. WHILE THE PASTELS AND PAINTINGS EVOKE A POWERFUL PANOPLY OF EMOTIONS--THROUGH THEIR SEARING INTENSITY OF COLOR AND RICHLY RENDERED SURFACES--THE SCULPTURE IS MORE SELF-CONTAINED, EARTHY, BUT NONETHELESS HEROIC AND TIMELESS IN ITS DEPICTION OF THE BATHER CAPTURED DURING AN ORDINARY MOMENT IN HER DAILY ROUTINE.
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