Seated Dancer Rubbing Her Leg

Seated Dancer Rubbing Her Leg
Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917)
c. 1878
Charcoal with white and dark brown pastel on gray-brown laid paper 
17-5/8 x 12-1/4 in. irreg. (44.8 x 31.1 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
On View

In the late 1870s and early 1880s, Degas developed a near-obsession with the motif of the seated dancer rubbing her leg or adjusting her shoe. His interest in this pose, at once intimate and awkward, sums up his fascination with life backstage at the ballet—the grit behind the glamor. This single-figure study is squared off in charcoal to facilitate the figure’s enlargement and transfer to a broader composition, possibly a pastel titled Dancers Resting today in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


Michel Manzi, Paris (sale, Paris, Galerie Manzi Joyant, 13-14 March 1919, lot 127, as Danseuse se chaussant, to);
?Private Collection, France.
Docteur Édouard (Eduardo) Mollard, Paris (d. 1947), by inheritance to his widow;
Mme. Enriqueta Alsop-Mollard (d.1971) (sale, Paris, Galerie Charpentier, 21 March 1958, lot B, as Danseuse se chaussant, for ff. 5,400 to);
[Paul Rosenberg & Co., Inc., New York, stock no. 5731, sold November 1959 to];
John D. Rockefeller III, New York.
[E. V. Thaw & Co., Inc., New York, 1978, sold 22 August 1978 to];
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

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