Trois Femmes de Dos by Degas

Trois Femmes de Dos by Degas

Regular price $350.00
Trois Femmes de Dos, 1948, Edgar Degas

The popular perspective on Degas is that of an aesthetic genius whose acidic colors (inspired by the new invention of the electric light), blurry atmospheres, and dynamic subjects are to be admired as pleasant and universally pleasing. What is often overlooked is that the voyeuristic perspectives of the images place audiences in the shoes of the old, wealthy gentleman who visited clubs, dance halls and cafes to mingle with the young and disadvantaged female performers.

In this heliogravure, it is unclear whether we are backstage before a ballet performance or at a seedy cafe-chantant. The women's ages appear to range from young (on the left) to an woman on the far right who seems much older than the others. The title simply means "Three Women From the Back", which reveals little about the image itself. It is likely that all three of these women are prostitutes, and, possibly, performers. This unfeeling view is an awkward and voyeuristic one, a splash of red on their ribbons the only color in an otherwise muddy and sketchy image that encapsulates the contrast between the supposed sophistication and the realistic tragedy and confusion of Gilded Age Paris.

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.
- Onastasia Youssef

Plate size: 6.25" x 8.5"  

Sheet size: 12.25" x 9"

Condition: In excellent condition

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