Edgar Degas

Woman with an Umbrella (Berthe Jeantaud)

c. 1876
Radiographs reveal that this composition was painted over the figure of a woman dressed in black, her left arm still visible at the centre of the coat on the later figure. The work, which is separated from the first by only a thin layer of paint, was made without any preparatory underpainting and is indicative of Degas's often sketchy approach to the canvas. The sitter is probably the artist's friend Berthe Jeantaud.

– 'Degas vente' stamp in red at l.l.;

On verso, several labels, inscribed:

– 'V.A.D. 3 / N'6', [= vente atelier Degas, no.III, lot 6]

– 'Propriété de Monsieur Arthur Sachs'

– 'Degas / La femme à l'ombrelle / M.A. Sachs'

– 'No. 20141 / Degas / Frauenportrait / 67 x 50 cm'.

– Exhibition label: Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André, Chefs-d'oeuvre des collections françaises , 1961; added in handwriting : Degas, Femme a'l'ombrelle, Monsieur Sachs »

– Exhibition label : Galerie Charpentier Paris, Chefs-d'oeuvre des collections françaises 1962

– label by Chenue, emballeur, 5 Rue de la Terrasse, Paris.

– 1919/04/07
Atelier Degas, Paris, France [1]

1919/04/07-09 –
Baron Denys Cochin (1851–1922), Paris, purchased from Atelier Degas [2]

– 1929/08/02
Hector-Henri-Clément Brame (1831–1899), Paris [3]

1929/08/02 – c. 1929/1930
Galerie Paul Cassirer (Walter Feilchenfeldt sen., 1894–1953), Amsterdam, The Netherlands [4]

c. 1929/1930 – 1968
Arthur Sachs (1880–1975), Paris, France and Philadelphia, USA [5]

1968 – 1969/06/18
Galerie Walter Feilchenfeldt (Marianne Feilchenfeldt, 1909–2001), Zürich, Switzerland [6]

1969/06/18 –
National Gallery of Canada, purchased from Galerie Walter Feilchenfeldt [7]

The main source for this provenance is P.A. Lemoisne's monograph, cat. no. 463 [Lemoisne, P.A.. "Degas est son oeuvre." Paris 1946, vol. II ]. Exceptions and other supporting documents are noted.

[1] The painting was included in Degas'atelier sale in 1919 as is evidenced by the catalogue and further suggested by a stamp on the verso [“Tableaux, pastels et dessins par Edgar Degas, et provenant de son atelier." Galerie Georges Petit, sale III, April 7-9, 1919, lot 6, repr.].

[2] See note [1]. Denys Cochin, politician, art collector and Degas' personal friend, purchased the painting at Degas' atelier sale. The sale price in the catalogue is noted as Fr. 7000 [Boggs, Jean Sutherland, et al.“Degas.” New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art; Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1988, cat. no. 147].

[3] According to Walter Feilchenfeldt, Jr., his father purchased the painting from the Parisian art dealer Hector Brame [emails by Walter Feilchenfeldt, Jr., to Anke Kausch, NGC Provenance Research Project, June 11 and June 12, 2008, NGC curatorial file]. See also note [4].

[4] The label on the stretcher, reading “No. 20141 / Degas / Frauenportrait / 67 x 50 cm.” corresponds with a stock number of Galerie Paul Cassirer. The painting was with Cassirer's Amsterdam branch from August 8, 1929 until c. 1929/30, when it was sold to Arthur Sachs [emails from Walter Feilchenfeldt, Jr., to Anke Kausch, June 11 and June 12, 2008, NGC curatorial file]. Paul Cassirer (1871–1926) was a prominent German art dealer, based in Berlin with several branches across Europe. After his death his business continued to operate under the management of Walter Feilchenfeldt, Sen., In 1939, the latter moved to Switzerland and opened a business in Zürich under his own name, which is presently owned by his son Walter Feilchenfeldt, Jr., who maintains the Cassirer gallery records.

[5] The American investment banker Arthur Sachs was the son of Samuel Sachs, co-founder of Goldman, Sachs, and Co. and a prolific art collector and philanthropist. The painting carries an inscription and two labels that identify Sachs as its former owner. According to Walter Feilchenfeldt, the work remained in the possession of Arthur Sachs from 1929 to 1968, when it was bought back by the Feilchenfeldt gallery [email from Walter Feilchenfeldt, Jr., to Anke Kausch, June 11, 2008, NGC curatorial file].

[6] See note [5] and [7].

[7] The National Gallery of Canada started negotiations about the purchase of the painting with Marianne Feilchenfeldt, widow of Walter Feilchenfeldt, Sen., in September 1968. It finally accessioned the painting on June18, 1969 [Accession log, NGC curatorial file].

– Stretcher inscribed in pen and ink : « Exposé au mois d'Octobre à l'exposition Degas (Musée de l'Orangerie. 1931) Non porté au catalogue à cause de la date tardive du prêt » (followed by an illegible signature);

– Inscribed in pencil : « M Sachs / 33 rue de l'Université / a reporter chez M. Wildenstein / rue de la Boetie »

Woman with an Umbrella (Berthe Jeantaud)
c. 1876
oil on canvas
61 x 50.2 cm
Credit line
Purchased 1969
Accession number