Edgar Degas

Portrait of a Woman (after a 16th-century Florentine drawing)

c. 1858-1859
During his first trip to Florence in 1858, Degas visited the Uffizi Gallery and, in an age-old artistic tradition, made copies after the Old Masters. One such, in pencil, was of a red-chalk drawing of a woman, then attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. Degas went a step further, assuming the role of his predecessor and producing this painting from his copy of the Renaissance drawing.

– 1917
Edgar Degas (1834–1917), Paris, France

Jeanne Fevre, Nice, France, by inheritance [1]

1934/06/12 – 1946
Paul Rosenberg (1881-1959), Paris, France, purchased at auction "Oeuvres de Degas, Collection de Mlle J. Fevre." Galerie Jean Charpentier, Paris, June 12, 1934, lot no. 136 [2]

1946 –
Paul Pétridès (b.1901), Paris, purchased from Paul Rosenberg [3]

1950/05/10 – 1966
R.W. Finlayson (b.1907), Toronto, Canada, purchased from Paul Pétridès at the auction “Tableaux Modernes” at the Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 10, 1950, lot no. 24 [4]

1966/10 –

National Gallery of Canada, purchased from R.W. Finlayson [5]

The main source for this provenance is the exhibition catalogue by Jean Sutherland Boggs, cat. no. 18 [Boggs, Jean Sutherland et. al. “Degas.” Paris: Galeries Nationals du Grand Palais; Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada; New York: Metropolitain Museum of Art 1988]. Exceptions and other supporting documents are noted.

[1] Jeanne Fevre was Degas' niece. The estate held a sale in 1934, in which this painting was included [“Oeuvres de Degas, Collection de Mlle J. Fevre”, Galerie Jean Charpentier, Paris, June 12, 1934, lot no. 136].

[2] According Elaine Rosenberg, Paul Rosenberg's daughter-in-law, the art dealer purchased the painting on June 12, 1934, at the estate sale of Jeanne Fevre. It remained in Rosenberg's possession until 1946. A list of owners, provided by R.W. Finlayson, in a letter dated August 19, 1966, lists Baron de Rothschild and André Weil as subsequent owners [NGC curatorial file]. On Rosenberg's stock card however, the name “Pétridès” is noted, which suggests that he sold the work to the Parisian dealer [notes of a telephone conversation between Elaine Rosenberg's assistant and Anabelle Kienle, assistant curator, European and American Art, NGC, April 10, 2007]. In 1950, the painting is offered for sale at the Hôtel Drouot, but seller information is not provided in the auction catalogue. Finlayson's list of previous owners, however, lists Pétridès as the last owner before himself.

[3] See note [2].

[4] See note [2].

[5] Accession log [NGC curatorial file].

Portrait of a Woman (after a 16th-century Florentine drawing)
c. 1858-1859
oil on canvas
64.7 x 45.4 cm
Credit line
Purchased 1967
Accession number