Mlle Nathalie Wolkonska (first plate) by Edgar Degas

Mlle Nathalie Wolkonska (first plate) by Edgar Degas

Mlle Nathalie Wolkonska (first plate)

Edgar Degas

Title

Mlle Nathalie Wolkonska (first plate)

 
Artist

Edgar Degas

  1834 - 1917 (biography)
Year
1860 -61, printed 1919 
Technique
etching (printed from the cancelled plate) 
Image Size
4 3/4 x 3 7/16" platemark 
Signature
unsigned, as usual 
Edition Size
about 150 in this state 
Annotations
 
Reference
Delteil 7; Adhemar 14; Reed/Shapiro 11 
Paper
cream, textured wove 
State
ii/ii 
Publisher
Ambrose Vollard 
Inventory ID
19736 
Price
$700.00 
Description

Edgar Degas printed only 2 known impressions of this etching before cancelling the plate, something he did with many of his etchings. 21 of these cancelled plates were acquired by his dealer, publisher Ambroise Vollard in 1917, the year Degas died.

In 1919 Vollard issued a printing of these etchings in an edition of around 150 impressions on two different papers, just as Loys Delteil was publishing his raisonné. It was intended to be included in a portfolio that was to accompany a deluxe version of a book Vollard intended to publish about Degas. Degas, knowing about the project, may have cancelled the plates before giving them to Vollard. The etchings were soon broken up and sold individually.

This impression was purchased in 1966 from Associated American Artists in New York and has the AAA Certificate of Authenticity signed by Sylvan Cole.

The actual subject of this portrait is not agreed on and the speculation remains that Degas was working from a Daguerreotype of the Princess de Metternich, or perhaps from a sitting by his young cousin, Giovanna Bellelli.

The first state of 2 impressions had scratches across the face which were removed in this, the cancelled state.

After Vollard's death in 1939 the plates were obtained by dealer Henri Petiet and in 1955, 23 plates were purchased from A Martinez in Cannes. They were then acquired by American art dealer Frank Perls who published a small edition printed by Lacouriére on Japanese paper. These had a blind stamp in the lower right corner that reads "Frank Perls Edition 1959."