A touring exhibition at the Petit Palais in Paris
“Walter Sickert is recognized as one of the most important artists of the 20th century, having helped shape modern British art as we know it. With ties to renowned painters from James Abbott McNeill Whistler to Edgar Degas, he strengthened the artistic connections between Britain and France and continues to influence contemporary painters to this very day.” - Tate Britain
The Nahmad Collection has the pleasure to lend a pastel to the Tate Britain by the French artist Edgar Degas, who became Walter Sickert’s mentor in 1885. It is to Degas that Sickert owes his organized compositions through preliminary drawings and the use of bolder colors.
Spanning his six-decades career, this major retrospective uncovers the people, places and events that inspired him, such as Pierre Bonnard and Edgar Degas.
They aimed to popularize the genre of nude paintings within a modern context, rather than only using nude models for historical or religious settings, as is the case for the work that we lent.
When Paul-André Lemoisne, the cataloger of Degas' work, classified the pastel titled Après le Bain, he believed it was a preliminary drawing, given its apparent unfinished state, for Baigneuse allongée sur le sol (Bather laying on the floor). The later was made circa 1885and is on display at the Musée d’Orsay. However, now we believe that ‘Bather laying on the floor’ was made before ‘After the bath’ which was drawn as Degas was reminiscent of the first pastel.
“Everything here is somewhat faint and indistinct, the contours hard to decipher. And the background furniture and floor can, as a result, ironically remind us of the landscape background in the painting of 'Scene of War'. […] As a result, instead of the solidity of modelling of a Caravaggio, we have the shimmering surface of a late Titian.” - J.S. Boggs and A. Maheux, op. cit., p. 138