Edgar Degas (1834–1917)
Two Portrait Studies of a Man, c. 1856–57
Graphite with stumping and touches of white chalk on pink wove paper
17 5/16 x 11 3/8 in. (44 x 28.9 cm)
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.1393
This virtuoso drawing was made from life during Degas’s Italian sojourn. The artist studied the half-length figure up close, ingeniously combining two views into a harmonious composition. The facial features and smooth skin are rendered lifelike through fine gradations of light and shadow, achieved through blended strokes of graphite and the addition of white highlights.