Study for "Dead Fox in the Forest"

Edgar Degas (1834–1917)
Study for “Dead Fox in the Forest,” c. 1861–64
Black and red chalks on cream wove paper
8 1/16 x 10 15/16 in. (20.4 x 27.7 cm)
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.1396

In this delicate sheet from early in Degas’s career, the artist observes a dead fox’s limp body. Long and short directional strokes coalesce into a convincing representation of the coarse fur of the animal’s coat while a combination of looser marks with the white of the paper suggests the softer underbelly. The red stamp bearing Degas’s name at lower left was applied to this sheet — and to the many others that remained in the artist’s studio until his death — on the occasion of his estate sales of 1918 and 1919.