That cerebral Iimpressionist Edgar Degas (1834-1917) made countless sketches of youthful female models – the bathers, the ballerinas, the laundresses, milliners and prostitutes. Photography was a secondary preoccupation with Degas, but served the same visual appetite for fleeting poses of everyday awkwardness. Curators at the Getty Museum speculate as to whether Degas made the photograph above in his studio or in a brothel. Below, three notebook sketches plus one radical pastel plus one final photographic joke.
|After the Bath|
In 1886 Degas staged the group portrait below, seemingly mocking (but not rejecting) his own status as Parisian culture hero.
|Apotheosis of Degas|