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Degas, Edgar, 1834-1917.
e Artist : painter
Portrait of the Bellelli Family (detail).
The Bellelli Family.
g Begun 1858
b 200 x 253 cm.
c Oil on canvas.
Beginning Date: 1858
In 1858 59, Degas spent several months in Italy with his aunt, the Baroness Bellelli. He made a number of sketches while in Italy, but this life-sized portrait was produced later. Two of the figures (the mother and standing girl) are carefully posed, apparently aware that someone is looking at them. The baron, with his back to the viewer, has just begun to realise that something is happening. Throughout his life, Degas would continue to work long hours in the studio to achieve this kind of apparent spontaneity. Degas never sold this painting, perhaps because it revealed too much about his aunt's unhappy marriage to the Baron. It remained in his studio until after his death.
Style: French Realist/Impressionist.
Musee d'Orsay. ID=FPO
t Art and Art History Collection (Saskia)
Closeup; M. Bellilli in profile