1834 - 1917
Graphite on paper
200 x 264 mm
In his early career, Degas followed traditional academic practice by making preliminary studies of compositional arrangement and individual pictorial elements in preparation for a finished painting.
This drawing does not relate directly to any of the large-scale figure compositions that Degas painted as a young man in the 1850s and early 1860s, although it may be that it represents a preliminary idea which was abandoned as the composition evolved. Similar youthful figures occur in a number of his paintings of around this date, often in pairs or groupings where one figure all but obscures an adjacent companion.
Bequeathed by A.S.F. Gow, through the National Art Collections Fund, 1978