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.

A.-C. C.

City of Paris municipal collection's website

City of Paris municipal collection's website

The collections portal can be used to search the collections of Paris’s 14 municipal museums (approximately 336,000 works, including 43,000 belonging to the Petit Palais).

It is also possible to download around 12,000 images of the museum’s works free of charge.

Access the Museums of the City of Paris collections portal
Autre base documentaire

Extern databases

Discover a selection of databases online presenting works from the Petit Palais or documents concerning the history of the museum.