138
138
Edgar Degas
SCÈNE D'INTÉRIEUR
Estimate
250,000350,000
LOT SOLD. 225,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
138
Edgar Degas
SCÈNE D'INTÉRIEUR
Estimate
250,000350,000
LOT SOLD. 225,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

|
New York

Edgar Degas
1834 - 1917
SCÈNE D'INTÉRIEUR
Stamped Degas (on the reverse)
Oil on board
20 1/2 by 13 1/8 in.
52 by 33.3 cm
Painted circa 1867.
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Provenance

Ambroise Vollard, Paris
Jeanne Fèvre, Nice
Michael Bernatov, Paris
L. Salavin, Paris
Nihon Gallery, Osaka
Acquired by the present owner in 2018

Literature

Philippe Brame & Theodore Reff, Degas et son oeuvre, A Supplement, New York & London, 1984, no. 54, illustrated p. 59

Catalogue Note

Scène d'intérieur is a particularly early work for Degas, yet it embodies his mature style. The rapid but precise brushstrokes capture the ephemerality of the moment. Degas’ contribution as a founder of Impressionism—even though he rejected this connotation, preferring himself to be recognized a realist—is evident. In this composition, we can see the natural progression of Degas’ oeuvre in the ensuing decades, from Parisian night-life and its ballet dancers to opera singers and cabaret artists.

The present work shows a well-dressed couple—likely members of the Parisian upper class—posing for the artist. The woman wears a ball gown of vibrant green with a fur accent. Degas captures the shimmer of the jewels on her necklace and tiara with careful application of white paint. Meanwhile, her companion, seated on a couch just behind, faces the viewer frontally, his crossed legs and composed demeanor accentuating his confidence. Degas paints the red ribbon which adorns the man’s neck in one quick brushstroke, while the sheen of a pendant on his lapel is conveyed through a few dabs of white paint.

Scène d'intérieur is in line with Degas’ series of couples, depicting the figures as psychologically distant from one another while sharing the same space. In their fine garb and measured composure, the two individuals succeed in displaying their wealth and status. Yet, beneath their air of dignity and grandeur, we see Degas’ deft ability to convey a sense of psychological vulnerability. The woman clutches aloofly at her necklace, while the man’s gaze carries with it a hint of loneliness.  

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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New York