Detail View: The AMICA Library: Rouen

AMICA Library Year: 
Object Type: 
Drawings and Watercolors
Creator Name: 
Jongkind, Johan
Creator Dates/Places: 
Dutch, 1819 - 1891
Creator Name-CRT: 
Johan Barthold Jongkind
Full View
Creation Date: 
Creation Start Date: 
Creation End Date: 
Materials and Techniques: 
Watercolor, charcoal
Framed dimensions: 21 x 29 x 2 1/2 in. (53.34 x 73.66 x 6.35 cm.)
AMICA Contributor: 
Dallas Museum of Art
Owner Location: 
Dallas, Texas, USA
ID Number: 
Credit Line: 
Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
The Durand-Ruel family seems to have bought this splendid painted print by Edgar Degas from the fourth impressionist exhibition of 1879 and kept it in the family collection until Emery Reves bought it in the late 1940s. Thus, it has a provenance that links it to the artist himself and to the collection of the most important Parisian art dealer of the late 19th century. Although it has never been recognized as a print in the vast Degas literature, the platemarks along the left, right, and lower edges make it clear that this large pastel and gouache painting was made over a monoprint. There are no other surviving prints from this immense plate - the largest ever used by Degas - possibly because it was so difficult to print. Perhaps because the impression was inferior, Degas covered the vast majority of the printed surface with pastel and gouache. This alteration, and the relative inaccessibility of the work to scholars, has prevented the identification of the plate.Physical evidence suggests that Degas made a huge black-ink monoprint, cut the sheet of paper along the top after printing (perhaps because the impression along the top was so bad), and then used the resulting print as the armature for the gouache landscape and pastel figures. He chose the two mediums carefully. The dry gouache has all the qualities of the flat water-based paints that scenery painters used to achieve the best effect of stage lights. For contrast, Degas used pastels for the figures, whose costumes and makeup were designed to pick up and scatter the light.That Degas selected this complex work of art for inclusion in the 1879 impressionist exhibition indicates the high regard that he felt for it. The impressionist exhibition of that year was dominated by Degas, whose submissions to it were of the highest quality. Interestingly, the scene was identified in the exhibition catalogue as "Le Ballet de l'africaine." Scholars have never identified the particular opera depicted in this painted print."Impressionist Paintings Drawings and Sculpture from the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection," page 71
Related Image Identifier Link: