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Degas often experimented with technique. This picture was made with paint drained of its oil and thinned with turpentine, creating an effect similar to watercolour. The woman, seated by a window against the light, looks serene. But the artist Walter Sickert recounted that this work was painted around the time of the siege of Paris by the Prussians. According to Sickert, Degas gave the model a hunk of meat as payment, ‘which she fell upon, so hungry was she, and devoured it raw’.

The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)

London


Date

1871–1872

Medium

oil on paper

Measurements

H 61.3 x W 45.9 cm

Accession number

P.1932.SC.88

Acquisition method

gift from Samuel Courtauld, 1932

Work type

Painting


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The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)

Somerset House, Strand, London, Greater London WC2R 0RN England

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