The Abduction of the Sabine Women (after Nicolas Poussin)
c. 1861-1862
Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917)
Not on View

"The masters must be copied over and over again," Degas said, "and it is only after proving yourself a good copyist that you should reasonably be permitted to draw a radish from nature." Degas first received permission to copy paintings at the Louvre in 1853 when he was eighteen. He was most interested in the great works of the Italian Renaissance and of his own classical French heritage, hence this detailed copy of Poussin's painting.


  • Artist Name: Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917)
  • Title: The Abduction of the Sabine Women (after Nicolas Poussin)
  • Date: c. 1861-1862
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 59-1/8 x 81-1/2 in. (150.18 x 207.01 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation, Gift of Mr. Norton Simon
  • Accession Number: F.1983.06.P
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

Henri Rouart (1833-1912), Paris by 1907 (sale, Paris, Galerie Manzi-Joyant, 9-11 December 1912, lot 180, ill., as L'Enlèvement des Sabines, D'après Le Poussin, for Ff 55,000, to);
Rouart, by inheritance to;
Mme. Helen (Eugène) Marin, née Rouart, (d. 1929) Paris, by inheritance to her daughter;
Mme. Bricka, Montpellier, by 1937, presumably still in 1946.
[?Leonardo] Benatov, Paris.
Huntington Hartford, New York, sold 1958 to;
[E.V. Thaw & Co., New York, owned jointly with Stephen Hahn, New York, sold 3 May1978 to];
Norton Simon, gift 1983 to;
The Norton Simon Foundation.


  • Paris, Musee de l'Orangerie, de Tuileries, 1937-03 to 1937-04
  • Rosenberg, Pierre, Nicolas Poussin: 1594-1665,fig. 72b p. 254
  • Rouart, Denis, Degas: In Search of His Technique,no. 2 pp. 15, 129
  • Reff, Theodore, Art Bulletin, p. 555
  • Jamot, Paul, Degas, pp. 9-10
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum,1989, p. 141
  • Armstrong, Carol, Odd Man Out: Readings of the Work and Reputation of Edgar Degas,fig. 59 pp. 115-116
  • McMullen, Roy, Degas: His Life, Times and Work, pp. 109, 112-113, 451
  • Grappe, Georges, Degas, p. 10
  • Campbell, Sara et al., Degas in the Norton Simon Museum,2009, Fig. 1 p. 73
  • Kendall, Richard, Degas: Beyond Impressionism,fig. 59 p. 61
  • Boggs, Jean Sutherland et al., Degas,no. 28
  • Mauclair, Camille, Degas,no. 69, pl. 69 p. 7
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best,2010, cat. 1520 p. 416
  • Noteworthy Paintings in American Private Collections, pp. 252-253; pp. 343-344, 348-349
  • Pecirka, Jaromír, Degas dessins, p. 10
  • Rebatet, Marguerite, Degas, p. 37
  • Emily A. Beeny and Francesca Whitlum-Cooper, Poussin and the Dance,2021, plate 32 pp. 89, 91, 118 ; pp. 100-101 (ill.)
  • Alexandre, Arsène, Les Arts, p. 17, 26
  • Paintings from the Huntington Hartford Collection in the Gallery of Modern Art,fig. 18
  • Rouart, Denis, Degas à la Recherche de sa Technique, p. 9
  • Lafond, Paul, Degas, pp. 29, 30-31
  • Thompson, James, Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin,fig. 28 pp. 34, 37
  • Lemoisne, Paul-André, Degas et son oeuvre,no. 273 p. 135
  • Halévy, Daniel, My Friend Degas, p. 57
  • Meier-Graefe, Julius, Degas,pl. VIII pp. 22-23
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Additional Artwork by Artist

Actress in Her Dressing Room Edgar Degas c. 1875-1880 and c. 1895-1905
After the Bath Edgar Degas c. 1890-1893 (dated in error by another hand: 1885)
Autograph Letter to Durand-Ruel Edgar Degas n.d.

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