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Item 552 - Edgar Degas Catalog 589 (Aug 2020)

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Sold Price: $6,250.00 (includes buyer's premium)


ALS in French, signed “Degas,” one page both sides, 4.25 x 6.75, no date but circa April 1874. Letter to art dealer Charles Deschamps, referencing the famed first Impressionist exhibition of 1874. In part (translated): "The exhibition has opened (ours, of course). There have been many shouts but it has also awakened a real interest where you can perceive an amount of respect. Next year everyone will agree we are right. I write in great haste as I am working very hard in order to produce enough for my work to stand out." In fine condition.

The first Impressionist exhibition took place in April and May of 1874, led by Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, and Berthe Morisot. Many critics did not take the show seriously, but it was well-attended by the public—many of whom showed up to witness and ridicule the 'insult' to the art world. In an attempt to discredit their work, Louis Leroy, a critic for Le Charivari, called his satirical review 'Exhibition of Impressionists'; instead he established their identity. It would be two years before the group put on their second show, but history has proven Degas correct in his sentiment: "Next year everyone will agree we are right." An important letter from an esteemed Impressionist, written at the birth of the great movement.

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