Woman Drying Herself after the Bath
Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917)
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.


  • Artist Name: Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917)
  • Title: Woman Drying Herself after the Bath
  • Date: 1876-1877
  • Medium: Pastel over monotype on laid paper
  • Dimensions: 18 x 23-3/4 in. (45.7 x 60.3 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1978.04.P
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

[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.

French Pastel & Drawings from Clouet to Degas

  • Wildenstein & Co. (New York, N.Y.), 1944-02-09 to 1944-03-02

Loan Exhibition of Drawings and Pastels by Edgar Degas 1834-1917

  • Washington D.C., Philips Memorial Gallery, 1947-03-30 to 1947-04-30

[on loan]

  • Art Institute of Chicago, 1978-12-07 to 1979-07-16

Redesigned Degas Galleries

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

Works by Edgar Degas

  • Cleveland Museum of Art, 1947-02-05 to 1947-03-09

Taking Shape: Degas as Sculptor

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2017-11-09 to 2018-04-09

Edgar Hilaire Germain Degas

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1958-03-03 to 1958-04-06

A Loan Exhibition of Degas for the Benefit of the New York Infirmary

  • Wildenstein & Co. (New York, N.Y.), 1949-04-07 to 1949-05-14


  • Paris, Musee de l'Orangerie, de Tuileries, 1937-03 to 1937-04
  • Russoli, Franco; and Fiorella Minervino, L'opera completa di Degas, p. 128
  • Milner, Frank, Degas, pp. 102-103
  • Boggs, Jean Sutherland, et al., Degas, fig. 145 p. 307
  • Ohoka, M., Degas, p. 85
  • Janis, Eugenia Parry, The Burlington Magazine, fig. 43 p. 80
  • Schwabe, Randolph, Degas: The Draftsman, pl. 36
  • Cabanne, Pierre, Edgar Degas, pl. 116 pp. 56, 134
  • Art News, p. 17
  • Vauxcelles, Louis, L'Art et les Artistes, p. 89
  • Lemoisne, Paul-André, Degas et son oeuvre, no. 890
  • Wilenski, R., Modern French Painters, pl. 13 pp. 5, 9, 75, 139
  • Geffroy, Gustave, Claude Monet: sa vie, son temps, son oeuvre, 1922, p. 179
  • Boggs, Jean Sutherland, Drawings by Degas, 1966, p. 198
  • Janis, Eugenia Parry, Degas Monotypes, 1968, no. 152
  • Adhemar, Jean; and Françoise Cachin, Edgar Degas: gravures et monotypes, 1972, pp. LXII, LXVII
  • Thomson, Richard, The Private Degas, 1987, fig. 143 p. 109
  • Thomson, Richard, Degas: The Nudes, 1988, p. 80
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, p. 150
  • Kendall, Richard, Degas: Beyond Impressionism, 1996, fig. 69 p. 70
  • Willard, C., American Artist, 1998, p. 12
  • Dye, Sean, The Mixed-Media Sourcebook, 2004, p. 112
  • Anfam, David and Sheena Wagstaff, Edward Hopper, 2004, fig. 11 p. 20
  • Campbell, Sara et al., Degas in the Norton Simon Museum, 2009, Fig. 9 pp. 9, 44, 119
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 172 p. 266
  • various authors, Degas un peintre impressionniste, 2015, Fig. 35 p. 150
  • Museum of Modern Art, Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty, 2016, Figure 5 p. #41
  • Marianne Mathieu and Dominique Lobstein, Monet The Collector, 2017, Fig. 2 pp. 30-31, p. 238, pp. 269-270 ; p. 31 (ill.), p. 269 (ill.)
  • Michel Schulman, Degas Catalogue Raisonné Online, 2021, MS-1075
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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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