The Private Collection of Edgar Degas

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The Private Collection of Edgar Degas

The Private Collection of Edgar Degas
Metropolitan Museum of Art/H.N.Abrams | 1997 | ISBN: 0870997971/0810965127 | English | PDF | 356 pages | 52.08 Mb

This volume represents a reconstruction of Edgar Degas' private collection of over 5000 paintings, drawings and prints. It came to light at his death in 1917 and has long since been dispersed. The collection featured many works by the French 19th-century masters, Delacroix, Ingres and Daumier. It also demonstrated Degas' profound interest in the art of his contemporaries, particularly Manet, Cezanne, Gauguin, van Gogh and Cassatt. Degas' passionate pursuit of the art he admired, his relationships with other artists, his desire to found a museum, and the sale of his work at auction in 1918 as the bombs fell on Paris, are among the topics discussed in 11 accompanying essays.
Sponsor's Statement
Director's Foreword
Lenders to the Exhibition
Curators of the Exhibition
Note to the Reader

The Artist-Collector

Degas and His Collection
Ann Dumas

Degas's Degases
Gary Tinterow

Degas and the Collecting Milieu
Ann Dumas

Artist to Artist

"Three Great Draftsmen": Ingres, Delacroix, and Daumier
Theodore Reff

Manet and Degas: A Never-Ending Dialogue
Mari Kálmán Meller and Juliet Wilson-Bareau

Degas and Cézanne: Savagery and Refinement
Richard Kendall

Degas and Gauguin
Françoise Cachin

A Printmaking Encounter
Barbara Stern Shapiro

Degas, Japanese Prints, and Japonisme
Colta Ives

The Dispersal

Behind the Scenes: Durand-Ruel and the Degas Sales
Caroline Durand-Ruel Godfroy

The Metropolitan Museum's Purchases from the Degas Sales: New Acquisitions and Lost Opportunities
Susan Alyson Stein

"The Most Talked-about Sale of the Season": Critical Reaction to the Degas Collection Sales
Rebecca A. Rabinow

The Degas Collection Sales and the Press: Selected Reviews and Articles
Compiled by Rebecca A. Rabinow

Photograph Credits

Colta Ives is Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Susan Alyson Stein is Associate Curator in the Department of European Paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Gary Tinterow is Engelhard Curator of European Paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Review
When Edgar Degas died in 1917, his heirs found crate after crate gathering dust in the rented rooms inhabited by the isolated old artist. The opened containers revealed one of the greatest personal art collections of all time: There were paintings, drawings, and prints by El Greco, Ingres, Delacroix, Daumier, Cassatt, Manet, van Gogh, Cézanne, and Degas himself, including the famous Bellelli Family, a work from his youth that Degas could never bear to part with. When his heirs auctioned off the collection in 1918, governments granted national museums special funds to make purchases, even though it was the height of World War I and money was tight. The museums, it turned out, were also aided by the war–on the day of the sale, cannon fire sent most bidders running for cover. The ones who remained got bargain prices. This gorgeous book is filled with color plates of many of the paintings, and its 14 thoughtful essays are invaluable to comprehending the tastes of a single artist, one with the eye and the wherewithal to put together such an amazing collection.
From Library Journal
Degas, had he not produced a large body of art, would have been known as a great collector. Originally intending to establish a museum for his treasures, the secretive Degas later abandoned the idea, and the contents of his studio were dispersed at auction after his death in 1918. This catalog for a show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art presents a series of essays examining turn-of-the-century art collecting in France, chronicling the famous auctions, and exploring the relationship between Degas's own painting and the works he selected, including those by Ingres, Delacroix, Gauguin, Manet, Daumier, and many others. Each chapter is fully footnoted and richly illustrated with full-color reproductions. As the book reveals, much of the French art in the world's finest museums once belonged to Degas. This unique catalog will have wide appeal, interesting collectors and dealers; scholars and students of Degas, French painting, and Impressionism; and the museum-going public. Recommended for art collections and larger public libraries.?Ellen Bates, MLS, New York

The Private Collection of Edgar Degas