Conversation by Degas
In this heliogravure, Degas departs from his masterful and brightly colored paintings to create a gritty and darkly colored sketch of the seedy world of prostitution in 19th century Paris. Here, we see the woman with her client engaging in - as the title suggests - conversation. Although his reputation today amongst the general public is that of an artist playfully experimenting with light and color, scholars are now taking a closer look at his cold and voyeuristic portrayal of the tragic lives of impoverished women.
Edgar Degas (1834-1917) took to monotype printing around 1874, after the amateur etcher Vicomte Ludovic Napoléon Lepic introduced him to the process. For Degas, this singular print process gave him greater freedom to improvise and be spontaneous than drawing on paper allowed. Throughout his lifetime, Degas produced more than 400 different monotypes, a number far greater than his etchings or lithographs.
This heliogravure was printed in 1948 by Les Ateliers G. Bouan & Dreux-Barry, Paris. It is signed in the plate, lower right. It was printed after the extremely rare original monotype. This affordable version is one of only 1,000 that were beautifully printed on Marais paper with a platemark indentation around the image, as with the original. Comes with a copy of Exemplaire sheet, indicating edition number.
Plate size: 5" x 6.5"
Sheet size: 12.25" x 9"
Condition: In excellent condition