Hilare Germain Edgar Degas
(June 19, 1834 - 1917)
Portrait of Mlle. Carpentier
Oil on canvas, signed "Degas"
on the front lower left hand corner,
also signed "Degas" on the back
of the frame with the inscription
The view below is the same as the one above, it is slightly
larger and the frame has been cropped out.
Close-up of the face. The shiny spots are due to
reflection of the lighting.
Close-up of the hands.
Close-up of the signature on the front (bottom left corner).
Back of the frame and canvas.
Close-up of the signature on the back of the frame (upper
Close-up of the signature on the back frame (taken without
The portrait of Mlle. Carpentier has been in a Maine private collection for over two decades. It is currently on loan to The Davistown Museum for further research prior to being sold. Persons wishing to view this portrait may make an appointment to do so by contacting The Davistown Museum.
The museum is trying to locate additional information about Mlle. Carpentier and her relationship with Edgar Degas. We believe that this portrait was painted in Paris at approximately the same time as "The Family Bellelli" (1858 - 1867) because Mlle. Carpentier's silhouette bears such a striking stylistic resemblance to it and other portraits that Degas painted in this period, just prior to his embracing the Impressionistic style. In the fall of 1872, Degas departed for New Orleans and never again produced portraits with the tightly modeled silhouettes so characteristic of his most important early influence, Ingres. Anyone with further information about the identity of Mlle. Carpentier or her relationship with Edgar Degas, please contact The Davistown Museum.
Examples of tightly drawn portraits
Following is a list of Degas' portraits containing the tightly drawn faces similar to the portrait of Mlle. Carpentier and frequently characteristic of many of his portraits done between 1855 - 1872. At this time, Degas was also beginning to paint many pictures in his Impressionistic style, e.g. The Orchestra of the Opera, 1870, Orchestra Musicians, 1871, but still continued to utilize his more traditional earlier style based on his appreciation of Ingres.
Bibliography and References
Following are some of the basic references being used to document the portrait of Mlle. Carpentier.
Boggs, Jean Sutherland. Degas [exhibition catalog]. Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, (Paris, Ottawa, NY, Feb. 1988 - Jan. 1999).
Feigenbaum, Gail. (1999). Degas in New Orleans: A French Impressionist in America. New Orleans Museum of Art. Catalog by Jean Sutherland Boggs.
Guillaud, Jacqueline et Maurice, Eds. (1984). Degas: Form and Space. Centre Culturel du Marais, Paris. Distributed by Rizzol, NY. (Text is in French?)
McMullen, Roy. (1984). Degas: His Life, Times, and Work. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.