Adelchi Morbilli

Black and white drawing of a man with short hair seated, with left leg bent resting on right leg

Edgar Degas (Paris 1834–1917 Paris)
Adelchi Morbilli, ca. 1857
Graphite on off-white wove paper
9 5/8 × 6 1/2 in. (244 × 165 mm)
Promised Gift from the Collection of Elizabeth and Jean-Marie Eveillard
Photo Joseph Coscia Jr.


From 1856 to 1859, Degas was based in Italy, studying art from antiquity to the Renaissance and traveling around the country. In 1793, his grandfather, René-Hilaire Degas, had emigrated from France to Naples, where he established his banking business and his family, and between August and October 1857, the young Degas visited his family in Naples. While there, he produced a number of portraits—paintings and drawings—of his uncles, aunts, and cousins. Adelchi Morbilli (1837–1913) was the painter’s younger cousin. He was to become a prominent banker and the director of the Banca Nazionale in Naples. At the time of this drawing’s creation, Degas was under the influence of Ingres, whom he had met in Paris in 1855.

  270 — (1) Spoken Label and (2) Curator's Personal Reflection
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