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430   Edgar Degas Autograph Letter Signed  $500 $1909 $2100 15 You must login to place a bid.
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#430 - Edgar Degas Autograph Letter Signed Estimate: $6,000+

Degas plans to visit his patron, who has just purchased "a small painting of horses by me at Durand-Ruel"

ALS in French, signed “Degas,” two pages on two adjoining sheets, 4.25 x 7, [January 1883]. Letter to Mrs. Albert Bartholome, canceling for Wednesday, because "something surprising" has happened. A wealthy painter, Henry Lerolle, invited him to dinner. Lerolle has just bought "a small painting of horses by me at Durand-Ruel [Before the Race] and he has written to me in admiration (Saint-Simon style), wants to feast me with his friends and although most of the legs of the horses in his good painting (mine) are rather badly placed, I have a good mind, in my modesty, to let myself be considered a little at the table. Just this once, dear Madam, let me get drunk with the perfumes of glory, on the other side of the water, behind the Invalides." Degas playfully notes, "if nothing manages to get me drunk, even the wine," he will come to see her at the end of the evening. In fine condition, with splitting to the bottom of the hinge.

Degas’ admiration of horses evoked an eagerness to learn about them in anatomical detail. He was fascinated by horse’s movement and the jockey’s colorful uniforms. Over the course of his career it’s reported that he created 45 oils, 20 pastels, 250 drawings, and 17 sculptures related to horses; during the time that Before the Race was painted, it’s documented that Degas kept a full-sized stuffed horse in his studio. Paul Durand-Ruel was a prominent French art dealer associated with the Impressionists who represented the likes of Degas, Monet, Renoir, and Manet;Degas' painting 'Before the Race' appears in the background of Renoir's portrait of Lerolle’s two daughters, 'Yvonne and Christine Lerolle at the Piano,' making this an especially interesting association piece connecting several important art world figures.

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