So it is that the exhibit "Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist -- Works on Paper by the Artist and
"We already have over 450 reservations for the opening reception," says Frick spokesman
Featuring more than 100 works on paper, the exhibit is built around a core group of 55 works by Degas.
Collected mostly in the 1970s and '80s when works on paper like this were much more affordable, they are all from the collection of
Seen together, they show what was possible for a knowledgeable collector with limited funds to buy for relatively little money, says
"You can tell that this is a very personal collection of
The earliest Degas drawing on view is dated
Several more early drawings abound, and most are copies of drawings Degas found in the
Such studied mastery of the rendering of muscle and bone becomes evident in, of all things, the drawing "Plough Horse" from the early 1860s. Here, the undulating ripples of flesh and bone appear as if pulsing below their sleek horsehair covering.
An unfinished drawing that fades out to the horse's hooves, Hall says of it, "You get a sense of the absolute immediacy of him being outside, observing and sketching.
"He did so many life studies, watching and observing and sketching, that then when he wanted to work in his studio, he understood the animal very thoroughly, he had his own visual references, he could create his own compositions in the studio."
Several monotypes from 1870s are real standouts. One-of-a-kind prints, monotypes involve applying ink directly to an otherwise untouched plate and printing immediately.
Here, works like "Les Deux Arbes" (ca. 1876) indicate the immediacy of the process.
"This was the first piece by Degas that
"It's not what most people would think of at all when they think of Degas," she says. "It's very spontaneous, atmospheric, very post-impressionist in its feeling, if anything. He would often completely ink a plate and use his fingers to do the smearing and removal of ink, oftentimes smearing it. It was a really visceral, sort of physical thing for him, making monoprints, and he really enjoyed it."
Several etchings also are on display. Pittsburghers will no doubt take delight in two featuring
Having each the slim, stylish silhouette of Cassatt, looking at art with her back arched and leaning on a parasol, the careful observer will notice her sister Lydia, hunched over a guidebook in each.
Johnson's voracious appetite for prints by friends of Degas gives added depth and interest to his collection, and Hall has interspersed a few throughout the exhibit, such as three etchings by
The remaining works are relegated to the final of three galleries, where visitors will find a powerful self-portrait etching by artist Marcellin Desboutin, a cartoon by Honore Daumier, a photograph by
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