Woman Drying Herself after the Bath

Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917)
Pastel over monotype on laid paper 
18 x 23-3/4 in. (45.7 x 60.3 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
On View

One critic called Degas’s submissions to the 1877 Impressionist exhibition “precise notes on the intimate, daily story of our epoch.” None was more intimate or precise than this scene of a woman fresh from her bath. The picture seems to have been among the artist’s first experiments with the use of pastel over monotype. After applying ink to a metal plate with his fingertips, Degas printed two sheets from the plate, producing a pair of compositionally identical “drawings.” He worked up the second of these with pastels, creating the luminous effects of the starched petticoat at right, the water in the tub, and the model’s bare flesh. The ink of the underlying monotype remains visible only in the lower left-hand corner, just above the artist’s signature.


[Probably with Boussod, Valadon et Cie, Paris, prior to April 1887, when it was acquired from the gallery by];
Claude Monet (1840-1926), Giverny, still in 1922;
Michel Monet, Giverny, in 1935;
Georges Wildenstein, Paris, by 1937.
[Wildenstein & Co., Inc., New York; by 1944, offered 26 January 1963 and subsequently sold 27 January 1964 to];
Norton Simon, Los Angeles, sold 7 January 1974 to;
[Wildenstein & Co., Inc., New York, sold 20 December 1978 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.

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