Etching, softground etching, aquatint, and drypoint
Support: Cream (3) heavy laid paper
Sheet: 36.3 x 26.6 cm (14 5/16 x 10 1/2 in.); Platemark: 30.2 x 12.6 cm (11 7/8 x 4 15/16 in.)
Gift of Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. 1947.459
Catalogue raisonné: Reed & Shapiro 52
State: VII/XX (only known impression of this state)
Degas and his friends Mary Cassatt and Camille Pissarro were all experimental printmakers who combined traditional printmaking techniques to create a black and white equivalent for the tonality and varied textures of paintings. They were all so involved in printmaking that in 1879–80 they planned to publish a journal, Le Jour et la nuit (Day and Night), that would contain original etchings. As a printmaker, Degas was ambivalent about when a plate was considered finished. What attracted him to printmaking was the variability. He thoroughly enjoyed reworking, retouching, and transforming plates, often progressing toward more subtle painterly effects.
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