Date: circa 1905
Materials and technics: Charcoal and pastel on tracing paper, mounted on card
Dimensions: H. 160 x W. 141,5 cm
Inscriptions: Sale stamp on bottom left: "Degas" (Lugt 658); studio stamp on rear towards upper middle: "ATELIER / ED. DEGAS" (Lugt 657)
Inventory number: PPD3021
Acquisition details: Gifted by Robert de Galea in 1950
This work is currently not on display
Degas tackled in pastel almost all of his favourite subjects: races, female dancers, women at their toilette. From the 1880s, when his vision began to decline, the artist favoured this technique and used it endlessly, producing in total over 700 pastels, some in exceptional formats such as this.
If Degas was very close to Henri Rouart, an eminent industrialist, painter, but above all a passionate and enlightened collector, of whom he produced no less than eight portraits, he also greatly appreciated his eldest son Alexis (1869-1921) and the latter's wife, Valentine Lamour (1875-1940), whom he represented on several occasions.
On this pastel striking by its harshness and its violent coloring, Degas captures a familiar scene from life: Mme Rouart consoles her daughter Hélène following a quarrel having visibly opposed her to her sister Madeleine, sitting on a chair and turning her back to them. .
Departing from the family passion for painting, Alexis Rouart distinguished himself in a musical career, contributing through his publishing activity to the promotion of modern composers as well as to the revival of folk music and the Renaissance.
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