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A nude woman crouching and holding a towel

Bold textured outlines in black chalk on tan paper depict a nude woman as seen from behind. Crouching and leaning forward and to the left, she holds one end of a towel up to her head to wipe with her left hand, and the other end in her outstretched right hand. Blank space indicates a soft light coming from left and highlighting her left side and part of her right arm. Softly shaded areas show her right side and right forearm in shadow, and at upper left the towel over her head is accented with brown chalk

Identification and Creation

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

Physical Descriptions

Charcoal and brown chalk on pale pink wove paper
49.7 x 64.4 cm (19 9/16 x 25 3/8 in.)
frame: 58.3 x 73.2 x 3.6 cm (22 15/16 x 28 13/16 x 1 7/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: verso, center, blue crayon: 1366 / [Degas atelier stamp (L. 257)] / Ph 823
  • stamp: l.l.: red Degas vente stamp [L. 658]


Recorded Ownership History
Atelier Degas (L. 257, 658), sale [Vente II, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, December 11-13, 1918, no. 289]. [Sadajiro Yamanaka, New York] sold in or before 1932; 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, checklist, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1931), no. 21b
  • Degas, 1834-1917, exh. cat., Pennsylvania Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA, 1936), no. 87, repr.
  • Agnes Mongan and Paul J. Sachs, Drawings in the Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, 1940), vol. 1, cat. no. 676, fig. 352
  • William G. Constable, “The Nude: Showing a 5-Century Ideal", ArtNews, ed. Alfred M. Frankfurter, ARTnews (1946), vol. 44, no. 19, January, pp. 8-10, repr. p. 10
  • William G. Constable, The Nude in Art: Loan Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings, exh. cat., Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (Hartford, 1946), no. 17
  • S. Lane Faison, Jr., Great Paintings of the Nude, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1953), repr. p. 18
  • Charles E. Slatkin Galleries, Renoir, Degas: a loan exhibition of drawings, pastels, sculptures, exh. cat. (New York, NY, 1958), no. 17, pl. XIV
  • Michael Ayrton, "The Nature of Drawing", The Studio (January 1961), vol. CLXI, repr. p. 39
  • Ingres and Degas: Two Classical Draughtsmen, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1961), no. 23
  • Barbara S. Shapiro, Edgar Degas: the Reluctant Impressionist, exh. cat., Boston Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA, 1974), no. 88
  • Vojtech Jirat-Wasiutynski and Thea Jirat-Wasiutynski, "The Uses of Charcoal in Drawing", Arts Magazine (October 1980), vol. 55, no. 2, pp. 128-135, fig. 7, p. 131
  • Martin Gayford, "'Believe me wicked'" [exhibition review of Degas: Beyond Impressionism], The Spectator (June 1, 1996), p. 38
  • Richard Kendall, Degas: Beyond Impressionism, exh. cat., Yale University Press (New Haven, CT, 1996), cat. 50; pp. 231, 301; repr. (color) p. 235
  • Masterpieces of world art : Fogg Art Museum, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1997
  • Edward Saywell, "Guide to Drawing Terms and Techniques", Harvard University Art Museums Bulletin, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1998), vol. VI, no. 2, pp. 30-39, p. 31 under "Charcoal"
  • Jennifer Janicki, Glorious Borders: Three Centuries of French Frames, exh. cat., Gold Leaf Studios (Washington, DC, 1999), p. 11 (frame)
  • June Rose, Mistress of Montmartre: A Life of Suzanne Valadon, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY, 1999), repr. p. 82
  • David Bomford, Art in the Making: Degas, exh. cat., National Gallery Publications/Yale University Press (London and New Haven, 2004), pp. 124-25, repr. fig. 132
  • 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. 42, fig. 33 (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. 289
  • George T.M. Shackelford and Xavier Rey, Degas and the Nude, exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, 2011), p. 174, repr. p. 176 as fig. 183, p. 227
  • Roger Malbert, Drawing People, Distributed Art Publishers (New York, 2015), repr. on p.8; p.9
  • Ewa Lajer-Burcharth and Elizabeth M. Rudy, ed., Drawing: The Invention of a Modern Medium, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, 2017), pp. 206, 286, repr. p. 207 as fig. 3

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
  • Great Modern French Drawings, Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences Museum, Brooklyn, 01/01/1939 - 03/12/1939
  • 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
  • Edgar Degas Bronzes, Drawings, Pastels, Buchholz Gallery, New York, 01/03/1945 - 01/27/1945
  • The Nude in Art: Loan Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, 01/01/1946 - 02/03/1946
  • Renoir, Degas: a loan exhibition of drawings, pastels, sculptures, Charles E. Slatkin Galleries, New York, 11/07/1958 - 12/06/1958
  • Ingres and Degas: Two Classical Draughtsmen, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/24/1961 - 05/20/1961
  • Edgar Degas: the Reluctant Impressionist, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 06/19/1974 - 09/15/1974
  • The Heavenly Twins: Edward W. Forbes, Paul J. Sachs and the Building of a Collection, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/23/1995 - 12/17/1995
  • Degas: Beyond Impressionism, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, 09/28/1996 - 01/05/1997
  • Glorious Borders: Three Centuries of French Frames, Gold Leaf Studios, Washington, 07/14/1999 - 08/31/1999
  • 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
  • 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