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Mademoiselle Bécat at the Café Ambassadeurs

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Mademoiselle Bécat at the Café Ambassadeurs

13 7/16 x 10 3/4 in. (34.1 x 27.3 cm)

Edgar Degas
France (1834 - 1917)

Object Type: Print
Medium and Support: Lithograph on wove paper
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. James H. Lockhart, Jr.
Accession Number: 1981.40
Link to this object
Location: Not currently on view
Collection: Lockhart Collection

Edgar Degas lived in Montmartre, a lively area of Paris that was filled with cafés, music halls, and theaters. Degas, who was a great patron of these entertainment venues, made four lithographs of the well-known singer Emélie Bécat, shown here in a performance at the café Ambassadeurs.

In order to emphasize the stark contrasts of such dramatic night scenes, Degas began by blackening the printing plate completely with ink; he then extracted light-struck forms such as the gas lamps, fireworks, and moonlight seen in this lithograph.

[Label copy from Monet: Vision and Process exhibition, 2018]

Cited in Loys Delteil's "Le Peintre-Graveur Illustré, v.9: Edgar Degas," repr. New York: Collectors Editions,1969, no. 49; Jean Adhémar and Françoise Cachin's "Edgar Degas: Gravures et monotypes," Paris, Arts et metiers graphiques, 1973, and "Degas: The Complete Etchings, Lithographs and Monotypes," New York, 1974, no. 42; Sue Walsh Reed and Barbara Stern Shapiro, "Edgar Degas: The Painter as Printmaker," Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1984: 31

Numbers inscribed and erased in graphite at lower right in margin, now illegible

Edgar Degas; his sale, Galerie Manzi-Joyant, Paris, November 22-23, 1918 [lots 115-128 were fourteen proofs of this print]; Charles Brown Eddy (1872-1951), Plainfield, NJ; Dr. and Mrs. James H. Lockhart, Jr., Geneseo, New York; their gift to the Gallery in 1981

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