The Violinist

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.