Degas’s late pastels of bathers drying and combing their hair are among the most sensuous—and the most bewilderingly abstract—works he ever produced. After half a century’s assiduous study (making copies of Renaissance and modern masters in his youth, producing countless life drawings of professional models, ballet dancers, and prostitutes in his maturity), Degas had come to know the contours of the nude by heart. Here those contours are engulfed by a thicket of terse, scribbling strokes, layer after layer of color, applied with an electric swiftness. These strokes lend vitality to the body they describe but also insist on the artist’s own dynamic process and on the flatness of the picture’s surface.
- Artist Name: Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917)
- Title: Woman Drying Her Hair
- Date: c. 1900-1908
- Medium: Pastel on paper
- Dimensions: 28 x 24-1/2 in. (71.1 x 62.2 cm)
- Credit Line: Norton Simon Art Foundation
- Accession Number: M.1969.06.P
- Copyright: © Norton Simon Art Foundation
[Durand-Ruel, Paris, stock no. 11370, sold 8 March 1958 to];
[?Charles Durand-Ruel, Paris, to];
[Sam Salz, New York, to];
[Reid & Lefevre, Ltd., London, offered by 9 December 1968, and subsequently sold 25 January 1969 to];
Norton Simon, Inc. Museum of Art, Los Angeles (sale, New York, Christie's, 19 May 1982, lot 15, ill., as Femme s’essuyant les cheveux, unsold);
Norton Simon Art Foundation.
Three Centuries of French Art: Selections from The Norton Simon, Inc. Museum of Art and the Norton Simon Foundation
- California Palace of the Legion of Honor, 1974-10-19 to 1976-06-15
- Thomson, Richard, Degas: The Nudes, p. 211, 218
- Dumas, Ann, and others, Degas e gli italiani a Parigi,fig. 82 pp. 162-163
- Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum,1989, p. 151
- Museum of Art and History, Geneva, Dessins fraçais, collections du Musée d'art et d'histoire de Genève,2004, fig. 1 pp. 136-137
- Norton Simon Museum, Selected Paintings at the Norton Simon Museum,1980, p. 111
- Lemoisne, Paul-André, Degas et son oeuvre,no. 1454
- Marmor, Michael F. and James G. Ravin, The Artist's Eyes: Vision and the History of Art,2009, fig. 38.4c p. 205
- Apollo, p. xliii
- Russoli, Franco; and Fiorella Minervino, L'opera completa di Degas,under no. 1053 p. 133
- Campbell, Sara et al., Degas in the Norton Simon Museum,2009, Fig. 30 pp. 45, 218
- The Open University, Art of the Avant-Gardes,2004, Plate 4.11 pp. 119-122
- Degas by Himself: Drawings, prints, paintings, writings, p. 280
- Carmen Fernández Jacob, La Patalogía Ocular en la Pintura a Través de la Clínica Oftalmológica,2017, Fig. 25, Fig. 28 pp. 115-117
- Marmor, Michael, Degas by His Own Eyes,fig. 32 p. 55
- Maheux, Anne, Degas Pastels,figs. 14, 14a
- Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best,2010, cat. 570 p. 313
- Kendall, Richard, Edgar Degas: Defining the Modernist Edge,fig. 18 p.62
Additional Artwork by Artist
Image reproduction permission may be granted for scholarly or arts related commercial use. All image requests, regardless of their intended purpose, should be submitted via the reproduction request form.
Images may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. Additional permission may be required.
Approved requests for the reproduction of an image will receive a contract detailing all fees and conditions of use of the image. Upon receipt of both the signed contract and full payment, the Office of Rights and Reproductions will provide the image. A complimentary copy of the published material must be provided to the Norton Simon Museum.