sketch of an elderly man's face and shoulders in pencil with white highlighting; man has wavy hair, is wearing a short cap, and is looking pensively to PR; framed

Tête de Vieillard de face, c. 1860

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“I assure you that no art was ever less spontaneous than mine. What I do is the result of reflection and the study of the Great Masters.” -–Edgar Degas Like other students of the École des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts) in Paris, Degas would go to the Louvre to study and copy the masterpieces in the great museum. His powers of concentration and his disciplined, meticulous work habits are readily seen in this drawing, a copy after one by Florentine Renaissance master Lorenzo di Credi (1456–1536). The lessons he learned here would serve him well for decades to come. For instance, the fine outlines, diagonal hatching, and streaks of white highlighting on colored papers reappear frequently in Degas’s renowned studies of young ballet dancers. By rooting his skills so deeply, Degas was later able to branch out to find new directions for his own art.

Details
Title
Tête de Vieillard de face
Artist Life
1834–1917
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2017.60
Provenance
Estate of the artist, Lugt 658 (until 1919; his 4th sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, July 2-4, 1919, no. 88, item b). [Galerie Berès, Paris, by 2016-17; sold to Mia]
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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sketch of an elderly man's face and shoulders in pencil with white highlighting; man has wavy hair, is wearing a short cap, and is looking pensively to PR; framed