After the Bath
c. 1890-1893 (dated in error by another hand: 1885)
Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917)
On View

Of Degas’s various recurrent subjects, the one most magically suited to the pastel medium may have been the female nude. By the early 1890s, the artist had all but abandoned oil paints for his nudes, relying instead on powdery, luminous pastels to convey the texture of bare skin. In works like this one, the more persuasively the physical properties of the medium mimic those of the sensuous subject, the more aware we become of the medium itself. Extreme realism here converges with abstraction, a new emphasis on the process of picture-making in the glowing, touched-all-over surface. The signature at lower left is original, but the incorrect date (“85”) is a later addition.


  • Artist Name: Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917)
  • Title: After the Bath
  • Date: c. 1890-1893 (dated in error by another hand: 1885)
  • Medium: Pastel on paper mounted on cardboard
  • Dimensions: 26 x 20-3/4 in. (66 x 52.7 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1975.02.P
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

The artist, sold 9 March 1902 for f. 6,000 to;
[Durand-Ruel, stock no. 6950, Paris, transferred 3 December 1912 to];
[Durand-Ruel, New York, stock no. 3585, sold 2 January 1913 for $9,000 to];
Miss Lillie P. Bliss, New York, bequeathed 1931 to;
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, sold May 1942 to;
Mrs. Charles Suydam Cutting, New York and New Jersey.
[Wildenstein & Co., New York].
Benjamin E. Bensinger, Chicago (sale, London, Christie's, 15 April 1975, lot 30, to);
[Somerville & Simpson, London, on behalf of];
The Norton Simon Foundation.

Loan Exhibition of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings

  • New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1921-05-03 to 1921-09-15

Degas: Beyond Impressionism

  • The National Gallery, London, 1996-05-22 to 1996-08-26
  • Art Institute of Chicago, 1996-09-28 to 1997-01-05

[on loan]

  • Phoenix, Phoenix Art Museum, 1975-05-02 to 1975-08-11

One Hundred Years of Impressionism: A Tribute to Durand-Ruel

  • Wildenstein & Co. (New York, N.Y.), 1970-04-02 to 1970-05-09

1913 Armory Show: 50th Anniversary Exhibition, 1963

  • Utica, New York, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, 1963-02-17 to 1963-03-31
  • New York, Armory of the 69th Regiment, 1963-04-06 to 1963-04-28

From the Collection of Mrs. C. Suydam Cutting: Paintings, Drawings, and Prints

  • Newark, Newark Museum, 1954-02-08 to 1954-04-25

Collector's Choice: Masterpieces of French Art from New York Private Collections

  • New York, Paul Rosenberg and Co., 1953-03-17 to 1953-04-18

Owned in New Jersey

  • Newark, Newark Museum, 1946-10 to 1946-12

The Lilly P. Bliss Collection

  • Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY), 1934 to

Modern Masters from the Collection of Miss Lizzie P. Bliss

  • Indianapolis, John Herron Art Institute, 1932-01 to

The Collection of Miss Lizzie P. Bliss, Vice President of the Museum

  • Addison Gallery of American Art, 1931-10-17 to 1931-12-17

Memorial Exhibition: The Collection of the late Miss Lizzie P. Bliss, Vice-President of the Museum

  • Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY), 1931-05-17 to 1931-09-27

International Exhibition of Modern Art

  • New York, Armory of the 69th Regiment, 1913-02-17 to 1913-03-15

"Masterpieces Recalled": A Loan Exhibition of the 19th and 20th Century French Paintings For the Benefit of the League for Emotionally Disturbed Children, Inc.

  • New York, Paul Rosenberg & Co., 1957-02-06 to 1957-03-02

Olympia's Progeny...For the Benefit of the Association for the Mentally Ill Children in Manhattan, Inc.

  • Wildenstein & Co. (New York, N.Y.), 1965-10-28 to 1965-11-27

Redesigned Degas Galleries

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1995-05-04 to 1997-06-01


  • Paris, Musee de l'Orangerie, de Tuileries, 1937-03 to 1937-04

Taking Shape: Degas as Sculptor

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2017-11-09 to 2018-04-09
  • Rewald, John, Edgar Degas, no. 53
  • Steadman, David W., The Connoisseur, p. 222
  • Apollo, fig. 9 p. 10
  • Grappe, Georges, Edgar Degas, p. 52
  • Hudson, Suzanne, and Nancy Noonan-Morrissey, How to Write About Art, fig. 6-2 p. 119
  • Morsell, M., Art News, pp. 4, 15
  • Die Kunst für Alle, p. 382
  • The Studio, p. 322
  • Rebatet, Marguerite, Degas, pl. 126
  • Mauclair, Camille, Edgar Degas,
  • Dumont, Henri, Degas, p. 28
  • Lemoisne, Paul-André, Degas et son oeuvre, no. 815 pp. 464-465
  • Lassaigne, Jacques, Edgar Degas, p. 31
  • Rich, Daniel C., Edgar Degas, pp. 104, 105
  • Fosca, F., Degas, p. 86
  • La Farge, H. A., Art News, p. 66
  • Bouret, J., Degas, p. 196
  • Russoli, Franco; and Fiorella Minervino, L'opera completa di Degas, no. 912 p. 127
  • Katzander, H., International Art Market, p. 146-147
  • Caradente, G., Degas, pl. LVI p. 15
  • Armstrong, Carol, Odd Man Out: Readings of the Work and Reputation of Edgar Degas, fig. 103 p. 197
  • Schacherl, Lillian, Edgar Degas: Dancers and Nudes, pp. 107, 125
  • Norman, Geraldine, Times, 1891,
  • Wilenski, R. H., Modern French Painters, 1940, p. 334
  • Painting and Sculpture in the Museum of Modern Art, 1942, no. 136 p. 35
  • Boggs, Jean Sutherland, Philadelphia Museum of Art Bulletin, 1981, p. 27
  • Brettel, Richard; and Suzanne McCullagh, Degas in the Art Institute of Chicago, 1984, fig. 89-1 p. 185
  • Lipton, Eunice, Looking Into Degas: Uneasy Images of Women and Modern Life, 1986, no. 121 pp. 180-181
  • Lipton, Eunice, Arts Magazine, 1987, fig. 13 pp. 96-97
  • Thomson, Richard, Degas: The Nudes, 1988, p. 183, 184
  • Rouart, Denis, Degas: In Search of His Technique, 1988, p. 60
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, p. 151
  • Kendall, Richard, Degas: Beyond Impressionism, 1996, no. 48 pp. 156, 231, 233
  • Westheimer, Dr. Ruth ; Charles Sullivan, The Lover's Companion, 2002, pp. 14, 15
  • Campbell, Sara et al., Degas in the Norton Simon Museum, 2009, Fig. 27 pp. 45, 200
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 1131 p. 375
  • Orcutt/Kushner, The Armory Show at 100: The New Art Spirit, 2013,
  • Carmen Fernández Jacob, La Patalogía Ocular en la Pintura a Través de la Clínica Oftalmológica, 2017, Fig. 26, Fig. 28 pp. 116-117
  • Michel Schulman, Degas Catalogue Raisonné Online, 2021, MS-1035
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Additional Artwork by Artist

Arabesque over the right leg, left arm in front Edgar Degas Modeled c. 1882-95; cast 1919-21
Arabesque over the right leg, left arm in line Edgar Degas Modeled 1885-90; cast 1919-21
Arabesque over the right leg, right hand near the ground, left arm outstretched (First arabesque penchée) Edgar Degas Modeled 1885-90; cast 1919-21

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