So You Think You Have a Degas

So You Think You Have a Degas

Edgar Degas was the leader of the French Impressionists. He was the only Impressionist to come to America. He visited relatives in New Orleans, stayed many months and was in close contact with them his entire life.

Degas was a prolific artist producing thousands of paintings, drawings, pastels, prints, monotypes and bronzes.

His American family ended up with part of his estate after his death. This explains why there are more undocumented Degas art in the States than in Europe. We see numerous authentic Degas charcoal and pencil drawings every year that originally came from his New Orleans family. Sometimes we find the original source of the drawings has been lost and we have to go through the Degas estate records in our library to re-identify them.

Degas pastels are unlike any other artist’s in the period. He used certain colors and a particular type of white over unusually prepared paper. We occasionally have to do lab tests to authenticate these.

He made his drawing strokes at a slight right angle which art forgers usually omit. As his eye sight deteriorated in old age, his drawings became soft and less crisp. The forgers often put an early Degas signature on a late “out of focus” Degas charcoal copies.

If you think you have a lost Degas, please send to us a photo of it in the mail. We’ll be glad to discuss the chance of it being real and cost authenticating it.

We have over 50 years experience with Degas’ work and travel to Paris every other month to work in libraries there.

Why not give us a call and we’ll be glad to hear about your art work. Nothing gives us more pleasure than helping collectors find lost treasures in their attic. We often get just as excited as they do when the research shows the art work is real.


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