Waiting
c. 1879-1882
Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917)
Not on View

With its raking composition and abrupt contrast of black and white, this picture grants us a glimpse backstage at the Paris Opéra without revealing any clear, coherent narrative. The two figures, each apparently absorbed in her own thoughts, may represent a young dancer and her chaperone or, indeed, one dancer dressed for rehearsal and another in street clothes. Only their shared sense of exhaustion and anxiety is clear—suggesting, perhaps, the anticipation or aftermath of an examination. Degas, as no artist before or since, took a keen interest in the physical routine of ballet dancers’ lives, the labor behind their art. At the Opéra, examinations played an important role in this routine, determining dancers’ salaries and professional advancement.

Details

  • Artist Name: Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917)
  • Title: Waiting
  • Date: c. 1879-1882
  • Medium: Pastel on beige laid paper
  • Dimensions: 19 x 24 in. (48.2 x 61 cm)
  • Credit Line: Jointly owned by the Norton Simon Art Foundation, Pasadena and The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Accession Number: M.1983.1.P
  • Copyright: © Norton Simon Art Foundation

Object Information

Léon-Marie Clapisson, Paris, before 1882, sold for frf. 6000 on 21 April 1892 to;
[Galerie Durand Ruel, Paris (stock number 2124), sold for f. 15,000 on 19 September 1895 to];
H. O. and Louisine Havemeyer, New York, until 1907;
Louisine Havemeyer, New York, 1907-1929, by descent to her son;
Horace Havemeyer, New York, 1929-1956, by descent to his widow;
Doris Dick Havemeyer, New York, 1956-1982 (sale, New York, Sotheby’s, 18 May 1983, lot 8, to);
Norton Simon Art Foundation, Pasadena, and The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (JPG #83.GG.219).

Masterpieces by Old and Modern Painters

  • New York, M. Knoedler & Co., 1915-04-06 to 1915-04-24

Degas 1834-1917

  • Pennsylvania Museum of Art, 1936-11-07 to 1936-12-07

Degas at the Getty

  • J. Paul Getty Museum, 2006-03-07 to 2006-06-11

Taking Shape: Degas as Sculptor

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2017-11-09 to 2018-04-09
  • Jamot, Paul, Degas, pl. 58b p. 151
  • Vollard, Amboise, Degas, p. 113
  • Vollard, Ambroise, Degas: An Intimate Portrait, p. 103
  • Lecomte, G., L'Art et les Artistes, p. 26
  • Rivière, Georges, Degas, p. 85
  • Mauclair, Camille, Degas, no. 117, pl. 177
  • Rewald, John, Edgar Degas, no. 2
  • Rich, Daniel C., Edgar-Hilaire-Germain Degas, pp. 19, 98, 99
  • Cabanne, Pierre, Edgar Degas, pl. 96 pp. 99, 108, 134
  • Bouret, J., Degas, p. 212
  • Duret-Robert, F., Connaissance des Arts, pp. 68-69
  • Hoving, Thomas, The Connoisseur, p. 11
  • Russoli, Franco; and Fiorella Minervino, L'opera completa di Degas, no. 778 p. 122
  • Schacherl, Lillian, Edgar Degas: Dancers and Nudes, pp. 30, 123
  • Frederickson, Burton, The Burlington Magazine, fig. 107 p. 268
  • Lipton, Eunice, Looking into Degas: Uneasy Images of Women and Modern Life, fig. 61 pp. 102-103
  • Revue de l'Art, p. 389
  • Moore, G., Kunst und Künstler, p. 145
  • Lafond, Paul, Degas, pp. 30, 36
  • Heilbrun, F., Degas inédit. Actes du Colloque Degas, p. 177
  • L'Art et les Artistes, p. 322
  • Keller, Horst, Edgar Degas, fig. 104
  • King, Pauline, The House Beautiful, 1899, p. 5
  • Alexandre, Arsène, La Renaissance de l'Art Français, 1929, p. 483
  • The H. O. Havemeyer Collection: catalogue of paintngs, prints, sculptures, and works of Art, 1931, pp. 382-383
  • Geffroy, Gustave, L'Art et les Artistes, 1937, p. 16
  • Nicodemi, Giorgio, Il pittore, i cavalli e le ballerine, 1945, opp. p. 96
  • Lemoisne, Paul-André, Degas et son oeuvre, 1946, no. 698 pp. 115, 150, 395
  • Browse, Lillian, Degas Dancers, 1949, no. 71 p. 362
  • Havemeyer, Louisine, Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector, 1961, pp. 246, 258
  • Clark, Kenneth, The Romantic Rebellion: Romantic versus Classic Art, 1973, p. 320
  • Art at Auction: The Year at Sotheby's 1982-1983, 1983, fig. 5 pp. 11, 100
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal, 1984, pp. 314-315
  • Norton, Thomas E., 100 Years of Collecting in America: The Story of Sotheby Parke-Bernet, 1984, p. 223
  • Wilson, William, California Museums, 1984, p. 176
  • Degas: Form and Space, 1984, fig. 132 p. 132
  • McMullen, Roy, Degas: His Life, Times, and Work, 1984, pp. 367, 472
  • Vollard, Amboise, Degas: An Intimate Portrait, 1986, p. 27
  • The Impressionist Revolution, 1986, pp. 205, 261
  • Weitzenhoffer, Frances, The Havemeyers: Impressionism Comes to America, 1986, pp. 95, 107
  • Kendall, Richard, Degas by Himself, 1987, p. 206
  • Florin, L., Art, 1988, pp. 40-41
  • Herbert, Robert, Impressionism: Art, Leisure and Parisian Society, 1988, fig. 120 pp. 118, 199
  • Fredericksen, Burton, Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988, no. 44
  • Boggs, Jean Sutherland, Degas inédit. Actes du Colloque Degas, 1988, p. 42
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, p. 146
  • Bentley, T., Art & Antiques, 1991, p. 75
  • Wold, G., Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection, 1993, no. 237
  • Meyer, S., First Impressions: Edgar Degas, 1994, pp. 67-68, 91
  • Thomson, Richard, Edgar Degas: Waiting, 1995,
  • Distel, Anne, Renoir's Portraits, Impressions of an Age, 1997, p. 349
  • The Museums of the World, 2001, p. 14
  • Rubin, Susan Goldman, Degas and the Dance, 2002, p. 23
  • Dumas, Ann, and others, Degas e gli italiani a Parigi, 2003, fig. 24 pp. 50-51
  • Campbell, Sara et al., Degas in the Norton Simon Museum, 2009, Fig. 20 p. 172
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 1704 p. 437
  • Lord Hindlip, An Auctioneer's Lot, Triumphs and Disasters at Christie's and Beyond, 2016, p. 124 ; p. 125 (ill.)
  • Michel Schulman, Degas Catalogue Raisonné Online, 2021, MS-156
Listen
Audio Tour
English | Español
Read
Audio Tour Transcript
English | Español
Escuchar
Audioguía
English | Español
Leer
Transcripción de Audioguía
English | Español

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.

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.

Reproduction Request Form