Graphite, pen and dark brown ink, and watercolor on thick ivory wove paper
Support: Ivory wove paper
Sheet: 30.4 x 23.5 cm (11 15/16 x 9 1/4 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1951.430
The date Degas wrote on this drawing is incorrect; he didn't visit Florence until 1858, and must have inscribed the sheet years later.
Degas traveled to Florence, Italy, in July 1858, where he made this sheet of studies. The featured imagery is fragmented and dissociated, suggesting the young artist's engagement with art of the past. The refined female head drawn at center in graphite was copied from a drawing then attributed to Leonardo da Vinci in the Uffizi Gallery's collection. Other sketches record Degas's responses to Florentine sculpture. At upper right, he sketched an informal portrait of his cousin Giulia Bellelli, probably from life.
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