Works from the 1870s

 
  • Léon-Augustin Lhermitte (1844–1925) 
    The Wine Press, c. 1872
    Black chalk with stumping and erasing on beige laid paper, pieced together
    12 x 18 13/16 in. (30.4 x 47.7 cm)
    Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1986.17

    Lhermitte frequently depicted rural laborers. These four men with fatigued bodies and expressions pause from their work. The dimly glowing light and the harmonious arrangement of the figures lend an overall sense of melancholy, underscoring the theme of long-awaited rest. 

  • Édouard Manet (1832–1883) 
    The Barricade, 1871, printed 1884
    Lithograph on cream chine collé on white wove paper
    Sheet: 25 1/16 x 21 13/16 in. (63.7 x 55.4 cm)
    Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 2007.7.1

    The Barricade represents the bloody repression of Parisian rebels — the Communards — by France's national guard in 1871. The sketch-like quality of the lithographic crayon makes it appear as if the artist captured the horrific action while it was occurring. 

  • Édouard Manet (1832–1883) 
    At the Café, 1874
    Gillotage on beige wove paper
    Sheet: 12 1/2 x 16 1/4 in. (31.7 x 41.2 cm)
    Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1962.82 

    This sheet is one of very few known impressions of Manet’s gillotage of a scene in the Café Guerbois, a Parisian establishment frequented by artists and writers. Gillotage was a new photomechanical process capable of conveying painterly effects. 

  • Edgar Degas (1834–1917) 
    Man Riding, c. 1875–77
    Brush and black essence with additions in brown and white gouache and white chalk on oiled brown wove paper
    9 11/16 x 13 1/2 in. (24.6 x 34.3 cm)
    Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.1400

    Here a trainer or groom in his typical garb of jacket and bowler hat leans forward on his horse in a galloping position. Degas applied oil to the paper to enrich its tone and create a smooth surface, on which he applied essence — thinned oil paint — with rapid movements of the brush.  

  • Edgar Degas (1834–1917) 
    Three Ballet Dancers, c. 1878–80
    Monotype on cream laid paper
    Sheet: 14 x 20 3/16 in. (35.6 x 51.3 cm)
    Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.1386

    Depicted from the vantage point of a seat in the balcony of a theater, two dancers execute rapid jumps in unison while a third kneels in a dramatic pose. To produce this monotype, Degas covered a metal plate entirely with black ink and used a cloth and his fingertips selectively to wipe ink away. He then pressed the plate onto paper and gave the unique impression to his friend Alphonse Cherfils, as indicated by the inscription. 

  • Edgar Degas (1834–1917) 
    The Violinist: Study for “The Rehearsal,” c. 1879
    Charcoal with white chalk on blue-gray laid paper
    17 1/8 x 11 15/16 in. (43.5 x 30.3 cm)
    Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute,
    Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.1395

    This rapid sketch is a study for a painting of a ballet rehearsal in the Frick’s permanent collection. In this sheet, Degas devotes his attention to the position of the violin accompanist and the back-and-forth motion of his bow. Touches of white chalk indicating light shining on the man’s face make clear that Degas was already picturing the man in relation to the studio windows in the painting.  

  • Edgar Degas (1834–1917) 
    At the Louvre: The Etruscan Sarcophagus, c. 1879
    Graphite and gray wash on blued white wove paper
    4 1/4 x 6 7/16 in. (10.8 x 16.3 cm)
    Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1971.36

    In this drawing, made in front of the Louvre’s terracotta Sarcophagus of the Spouses from the sixth century  b.c.e., Degas records the work in its gallery surroundings, taking careful note of the reflections of light on the glass case. In an etched composition he developed from the drawing, Degas included the American artist Mary Cassatt, standing and looking in, and her sister, Lydia, seated and consulting a book. 

  • Berthe Morisot (1841–1895) 
    Before a Yacht, 1875
    Watercolor over graphite on cream wove paper
    8 1/8 x 10 9/16 in. (20.7 x 26.8 cm)
    Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.1964

    Morisot captures the transitory effects of nature in this virtuoso sheet. She suggests the rocking motion of the boats and the atmospheric bright sunlight that filters through the air.