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A page folded in half with groups of sketches of ballerinas on either side

A horizontal page of off white paper folded vertically down the middle shows two groups of sketches of dancers in tutus in the left half, and one larger sketch in the right half. All the figures’ outlines are rendered in quick brushstrokes in dark brown ink. At top left, we see two dancers from behind, standing side by side, arms akimbo and looking at each other. At lower left, two figures also seen from behind bow side by side as another dancer looks on with folded arms. A larger figure at right, a long haired girl in profile leans forward facing left, balanced on one leg and extending an arm forward.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas, French (Paris, France 1834 - 1917 Paris, France)
Sketches of Dancers
Work Type
c. 1876-1877
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Brown ink with touches of blue watercolor on off-white laid paper
20.1 x 25.1 cm (7 15/16 x 9 7/8 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • watermark: A. Pirie & Son / 1876
  • inscription: lower left, graphite: croquis d'Ingres[?] [partially erased]


Recorded Ownership History
Garbis Kalebjian; Paul J. Sachs, 1927, 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

  • Henri Rivière, ed., Les Dessins de Degas, Demotte (Paris, France, 1922 - 1923), pl. 25
  • Exhibition of French Painting of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1929), no. 23
  • Robert Allerton Parker, "Notes on Drawings at the Fogg Museum", The International Studio (January 1930), vol. 95, no. 392, pp. 36-40, p. 39, repr. p. 40
  • Degas, 1834-1917, exh. cat., Pennsylvania Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA, 1936), no. 79, repr.
  • Winslow Ames, Drawings: Fourth Anniversary Exhibition, exh. cat., Lyman Allen Museum (New London, CT, 1936), cat. no. 157
  • Agnes Mongan and Paul J. Sachs, Drawings in the Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, 1940), vol. 1, cat. no. 664, fig. 340
  • Masterpieces of 19th and 20th Century French Drawing from the Fogg Museum..., brochure, Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, MI, 1941), checklist no. 17
  • Monroe Wheeler, ed., Modern Drawings, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY, 1944), p. 90
  • A Special Exhibition of Drawings from the Fogg Museum of Art, exh. cat., Speed Memorial Museum (Louisville, KY, 1947), cat. no. 24
  • Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas, Letters, ed. Marcel Guérin, Bruno Cassirer (Oxford, England, 1948), ill. 13 (left half of drawing only)
  • Lillian Browse, Degas Dancers, The Studio Publications Incorporated (New York, NY, 1949), repr. (detail) on title page
  • Agnes Mongan, French Drawings of Five Centuries from the Collection of the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, 1951), cat. no. 34, n.p.
  • Pierre Cabanne, Edgar Degas, Editions Pierre Tisné (Paris, France, 1958), repr. pp. 42, 43 (details)
  • Degas' drawings, Dover Publications Inc. (New York, NY, 1973), pl. 53
  • Linda D. Muehlig, Degas and the dance, exh. cat., Smith College Museum of Art (Northampton, MA, 1979), no. 11, repr.
  • Richard Kendall, Degas and the Little Dancer, exh. cat., Yale University Press/Joslyn Art Museum (New Haven, CT & London, England & Omaha, NE, 1998), no. 1, repr. in color
  • 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. 49, fig. 70
  • Richard Kendall, Daphne Barbour, and Shelley Sturman, Degas in the Norton Simon Museum: Nineteenth-Century Art, ed. Sara Campbell, Yale University Press (U.S.) (New Haven, 2009), p. 156, repr. in b/w p. 157 as fig. 16c
  • Ewa Lajer-Burcharth and Elizabeth M. Rudy, ed., Drawing: The Invention of a Modern Medium, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, 2017), pp. 148-149, 284, repr. p. 149 as fig. 3

Exhibition History

  • French Painting of the 19th and 20th Centuries, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 03/06/1929 - 04/06/1929
  • Drawings by Degas, City Art Museum of St. Louis, St. Louis, 01/01/1932 - 12/31/1932
  • Fourth Anniversary Exhibition; Drawings, Lyman Allen Museum, New London, 03/02/1936 - 04/15/1936
  • Degas, 1834-1917, Pennsylvania Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 11/01/1936 - 11/30/1936
  • The Ballet in Art, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Boston, 01/01/1938 - 01/31/1938
  • Great Modern French Drawings, Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences Museum, Brooklyn, 01/01/1939 - 03/12/1939
  • Unidentified Exhibition, Springfield Museum of Fine Arts, 1941, Springfield Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, 02/01/1941 - 02/28/1941
  • 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
  • Master Drawings, Fogg Art Museum, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, 06/01/1943 - 08/31/1943
  • Untitled exhibition of French drawings, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, 10/08/1943 - 11/21/1943
  • Modern Drawings, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 02/15/1944 - 04/16/1944
  • 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, Speed Art Museum, Louisville, 03/02/1947 - 03/30/1947
  • A Special Exhibition of Drawings from the Fogg Museum of Art, Speed Memorial Museum, Louisville, KY, 03/02/1947 - 03/30/1947
  • 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
  • French Drawings from the Fogg Art Museum, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, 03/28/1952 - 04/28/1952
  • Degas and the Dance, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, 04/05/1979 - 05/27/1979
  • Degas and the Little Dancer, Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, 02/07/1998 - 05/03/1998; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, 10/04/1998 - 01/03/1999
  • Degas at Harvard, Harvard University Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 08/01/2005 - 11/27/2005
  • Drawing: The Invention of a Modern Medium, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/21/2017 - 05/07/2017

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