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Degas’s Drinker: Portraits by Marcellin Desboutin

Edgar Degas’s famous painting In a Café (L’Absinthe, 1875-6), features a dissolute bearded man whom Degas modelled on his characterful friend and fellow artist Marcellin Desboutin (1832-1902). Both men shared a passion for printmaking and this exhibition explores the Museum’s rare collection of Desboutin’s sensitively executed prints in drypoint. Depicting friends and associates, many of whom frequented the Parisian cafés and salons, Desboutin’s portraits – some drawn from life, others from photographs – capture the likenesses of influential artists, writers, critics, musicians and socialites as well as children, his own family and the bohemian figure of the artist himself.

This exhibition is showing in conjunction with the major exhibition Degas: a passion for perfection (03 October 2017 - 14 January 2018) and the accompanying show Degas, Caricature and Modernity: Daumier, Gavarni, Keene (12 September 2017 - 4 Jan 2018).
Relevant research areas: Western Europe, 19th Century, Etching

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