Study of a Male Nude with a Sword

sketch of nude male with sword

Edgar Degas (1834–1917)
Study of a Male Nude with a Sword, ca. 1856–59
Graphite on rose colored wove paper
11 x 8 1/8 in. (27.9 x 20.6 cm)
Bequest of Charles A. Ryskamp, 2010
Photo Michael Bodycomb


This striding figure may be modeled after one of the monumental horsemen in the Piazza del Quirinale in Rome, which Degas visited as a young artist during an extended stay in Italy. His hard, graphic line recalls the draftsmanship of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, whom he much admired. At the upper left, Degas repeats the figure's left thigh and labels its individual muscles, probably drawing on knowledge of écorché models or anatomy demonstrations.

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