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.


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  • Lemoisne, Paul-André, Degas et son oeuvre, no. 273 p. 135
  • Armstrong, Carol, Odd Man Out: Readings of the Work and Reputation of Edgar Degas, fig. 59 pp. 115-116
  • Alexandre, Arsène, Les Arts, p. 17, 26
  • Lafond, Paul, Degas, pp. 29, 30-31
  • Meier-Graefe, Julius, Degas, pl. VIII pp. 22-23
  • Jamot, Paul, Degas, pp. 9-10
  • Grappe, Georges, Degas, p. 10
  • Mauclair, Camille, Degas, no. 69, pl. 69 p. 7
  • Rebatet, Marguerite, Degas, p. 37
  • Rouart, Denis, Degas à la Recherche de sa Technique, p. 9
  • Reff, Theodore, Art Bulletin, p. 555
  • Boggs, Jean Sutherland et al., Degas, no. 28
  • Noteworthy Paintings in American Private Collections, 1907, pp. 252-253; pp. 343-344, 348-349
  • Pecirka, Jaromír, Degas dessins, 1963, p. 10
  • Halévy, Daniel, My Friend Degas, 1964, p. 57
  • Paintings from the Huntington Hartford Collection in the Gallery of Modern Art, 1964, fig. 18
  • McMullen, Roy, Degas: His Life, Times and Work, 1984, pp. 109, 112-113, 451
  • Rouart, Denis, Degas: In Search of His Technique, 1988, no. 2 pp. 15, 129
  • Thompson, James, Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 1988, fig. 28 pp. 34, 37
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, p. 141
  • Rosenberg, Pierre, Nicolas Poussin: 1594-1665, 1994, fig. 72b p. 254
  • Kendall, Richard, Degas: Beyond Impressionism, 1996, fig. 59 p. 61
  • Campbell, Sara et al., Degas in the Norton Simon Museum, 2009, Fig. 1 p. 73
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 1520 p. 416
  • Michel Schulman, Degas Catalogue Raisonné Online, 2021, MS-38
  • Emily A. Beeny and Francesca Whitlum-Cooper, Poussin and the Dance, 2021, plate 32 pp. 89, 91, 118 ; pp. 100-101 (ill.)
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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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