Study for "Dead Fox in the Forest"

Black and red chalk drawing of dead fox

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. 

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