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A nude woman seated, raising her arm and wiping herself with a towel

Heavy black chalk lines on yellowed paper show a nude woman seen from behind and turned toward the left. She is seated and leaning forward, her left arm raised with her hand bent back facing the viewer. Her head bows forward and her hair is tied up in a bun, as she reaches her right arm around to her left side, drying herself with a towel that she holds at her side. Dark shading on her right side contrasts with strong light on her left side.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas, French (Paris, France 1834 - 1917 Paris, France)
After the Bath, Woman Drying Herself
Work Type
c. 1893-1898
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Charcoal on tracing paper
80.6 x 109.2 cm (31 3/4 x 43 in.)
frame: 97.2 x 126 x 5.1 cm (38 1/4 x 49 5/8 x 2 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • stamp: l.l.: Vente signature stamp [L. 658] in red


Recorded Ownership History
Atelier Degas (L. 257, 658), sale [Vente II, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, December 11-13, 1918, no. 267]. [Sadajiro Yamanaka, New York] to; Paul J. Sachs, bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1965.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Meta and Paul J. Sachs
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art

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Publication History

  • Degas, 1834-1917, exh. cat., Pennsylvania Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA, 1936), no. 86, repr.
  • Agnes Mongan and Paul J. Sachs, Drawings in the Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, 1940), vol. 1, cat. no. 677, fig. 353
  • Masterpieces of 19th and 20th Century French Drawing from the Fogg Museum..., brochure, Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, MI, 1941), checklist no. 27
  • Allene Talmey, "The Fogg Art Museum at Harvard", Vogue, Conde Nast (New York, July 15, 1947), 15 July, pp. 44-49, 78-80, repr. p. 47
  • Paul J. Sachs, Modern Prints and Drawings, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. (New York, NY, 1954), p. 32, pl. 28
  • Jon Garelick, "Abstract Thoughts: The Transitional and Transcendent Art of Edgar Degas at the Sackler Museum", The Boston Phoenix (August 5 2005), p. 18, p. 18, repr.
  • Holland Cotter, "Degas, Director: An Easel Becomes a Stage", The New York Times (August 5 2005), pp. B25, B27, repr. p. B27
  • Hilton Kramer, "Loner, Misfit Degas: Lover of Bathers was Never Impressionist", The New York Observer (September 7 2005)
  • Christopher Reed, "Mad for Degas", Harvard Magazine (July 2005 - August 2005), vol. 107, no. 6, pp. 40-45, p. 43, ill.
  • Marjorie B. Cohn and Jean Sutherland Boggs, Degas at Harvard, exh. cat., Harvard University Art Museums/Yale University Press (Cambridge and New Haven, 2005), cat. no. 43, fig. 9 (color), pp. 29, 64, 70 note 11
  • Catalogue des tableaux, pastels et dessins par Edgar Degas et provenant de son atelier 2e vente, December 11-13, 1918, auct. cat., Galerie Georges Petit (Paris, France, December 11 - December 13, 1918), no. 267
  • George T.M. Shackelford and Xavier Rey, Degas and the Nude, exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, 2011), repr. p. 178 as fig. 187, p. 228

Exhibition History

  • Degas, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 05/09/1931 - 05/30/1931
  • Degas, 1834-1917, Pennsylvania Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 11/01/1936 - 11/30/1936
  • Masterpieces of 19th and 20th Century French Drawing from the Fogg Museum of Art at Harvard University and the Museum of Modern Art of New York City, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, 05/01/1941 - 06/01/1941
  • Unidentified Exhibition, Skidmore College, 1942, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, 02/05/1942 - 02/26/1942
  • Edgar Degas Bronzes, Drawings, Pastels, Buchholz Gallery, New York, 01/03/1945 - 01/27/1945
  • Drawings by Degas, Farnsworth Art Museum (now Davis Museum and Cultural Center), Wellesley, 02/16/1946 - 03/10/1946
  • Drawings from the Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University (Collected by Paul J. Sachs), Century Club, New York, 05/12/1947 - 09/25/1947
  • French Drawings of Five Centuries from the Collection of the Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, 05/15/1951 - 09/30/1951
  • Paintings, Drawings, Prints and Sculpture by Edgar Degas, The Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, 10/16/1955 - 11/13/1955
  • Ingres and Degas: Two Classical Draughtsmen, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/24/1961 - 05/20/1961
  • Degas at Harvard, Harvard University Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 08/01/2005 - 11/27/2005
  • Degas and the Nude, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 10/09/2011 - 02/05/2012
  • Body Image in French Art and Visual Culture (18th and 19th Centuries), Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/23/2016 - 05/08/2016

Verification Level

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at