Professor Theodore Reff has stated that in his opinion this work is by Edgar Degas.
‘Together with Ingrès, Delacroix and Cézanne, Degas was one of the most passionate and convinced copyists of his time….He was a follower of the Old Masters – and at the same time a founder of ‘modern’ painting; and in Degas this is not a contradiction. It would not be right to see him as a Janus figure, looking straight back and straight ahead; rather, keeping within the ‘ground rules’ of painting as laid down by the Old Masters, he managed to unearth the principles of the new.’
E. Maurer, “Degas’s Copies”, in Degas Portraits, exh. cat., London, 1994, p. 151.