Degas made nearly forty self-portraits between 1854 and 1864. During this period, he traveled extensively in Italy, studying Old Master paintings and developing his own style. The artist approached self-portraits as a platform for experimentation and most remained in his studio until his death. In this image, Degas presents himself in a striking hat, white painting smock, and orange cravat. The delicate modeling of the face, much of which is in shadow, contrasts with the unpainted area in the bottom left corner.
|Medium||Oil on paper, mounted on canvas|
|Dimensions||10 1/4 x 7 1/2 in. (26 x 19.1 cm) Frame: 16 3/8 × 13 3/4 × 3 3/4 in. (41.6 × 34.9 × 9.5 cm)|
|Acquisition||Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1948|
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas, Self-Portrait, c. 1857–58, Oil on paper, mounted on canvas. The Clark Art Institute, 1955.544.
Dumas, Ann. Degas and the Italians in Paris. Exhibition catalogue. Edinburgh: National Gallery of Scotland, 2003. Lees, Sarah, ed. Nineteenth-Century European Paintings at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute; New Haven and London: distributed by Yale University Press, 2012.
Marcel Guérin, Paris (d. 1948); Daniel Guérin, Paris, his son, by descent, sold to Durand-Ruel, 20 April 1948; [Durand-Ruel, New York, sold to Clark, 20 April 1948, as Portrait de Degas au chapeau mou]¹; Robert Sterling Clark (1948–55); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1955.
1. The invoice is dated 16 April 1948; payment was received on 20 April 1948.