Edgar Degas - Achille De Gas 1872

Achille De Gas 1872
Achille De Gas
1872 36x22cm oil/cardboard
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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From Minneapolis Institute of Arts:
Edgar Degas often used his family and friends as models. Here, his younger brother Achille poses as a dapper flâneur, a fixture of Parisian society who watches the urban spectacle with an air of boredom and ironic detachment. Achille himself was something of a pretentious do-nothing, frequently running up debts and engaging in scandalous behavior. (He shot and wounded the husband of a former lover in front of the Paris stock exchange.)
Degas portrays Achille leaning on an umbrella, twisting his hip and pushing his chest forward to emphasize the studied nonchalance of his half-buttoned coat. The sketch is a study for the male spectator in the foreground of the painting At the Races. With eyes downcast and striking a self-consciously debonair pose, the fellow is clearly more interested in being seen than in the action behind him.