The Unfinished Print: 3 June to 7 October 2001

Edgar Degas, French, 1834-1917, and Vicomte Lepic, French, 1839-1889
The Ballet Master, c. 1874
monotype heightened with white chalk or wash
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Rosenwald Collection 1964.8.1782

Lepic introduced Degas to monotype printing. Here the ink was spread over the entire surface of the plate and worked with a pointed instrument and pieces of cloth before printing. Although both artists' signatures appear on the image, Lepic probably only instructed Degas in making the print. Working in the negative and tolerating accident seems to have liberated Degas from the precise, deliberate style of drawing he was accustomed to. The monotype was usually a provisional step that served as an impulsive starting point. Once the plate was printed he often worked over his monotypes with pastel.

Copyright ©2001 National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
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