ALS in French, signed “Degas,” one page both sides, 4.5 x 7, [February 3, 1884, dated in another hand]. Handwritten letter to the sculptor Albert Bartholomé, in full: "I couldn’t go to Mrs. Kaley because we had dinner so late at the house of the Ratowsky that I could not leave my mouth till full only at about 10:30. So I will go and see your wife expressly. I also missed Clemenceau on Sunday I went to the Atelier. I could only go to the Atelier around 3. Too late to be authorized to enter with the cards that were sent by the master. There had been a luncheon with Coquet also with the friends of the painter and I also missed it. What an incredible heat within that place. See you later. You are too good a friend to me." In fine condition.
A fascinating letter that connects the worlds of art and politics—Clemenceau, who would go on to serve as prime minister and played an important role in World War I, was a longtime friend and supporter of the impressionist painter Claude Monet. Though it is unclear which "master" Degas is referencing in this letter, it was undoubtedly one of his fellow great painters of the era. A boldly penned, fantastic letter from the celebrated Impressionist.
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