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.