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“Lepic and his Daughters” by Edgar Degas

Viscount Lepic and his Daughters Crossing the Place de la Concorde by Edgar Degas.

“Place de la Concorde” by Edgar Degas

“Viscount Lepic and his Daughters Crossing the Place de la Concorde” by Edgar Degas depicts the cigar-smoking Ludovic-Napoléon Lepic, his daughters, their dog, and a solitary man on the left at Place de la Concorde in Paris.

The Tuileries Gardens can be seen in the background, behind a stone wall. A large amount of negative space, the cropping, and how the figures are facing in random directions were influenced by photography.

Ludovic-Napoléon Lepic (1839 –  1889) was a French artist, archaeologist, and patron of the arts. He was Edgar Degas’s friend and was depicted in some eleven paintings and pastels.

Lepic experimented with etching and developed the technique of ‘variable etching’ (eau-forte mobile) were, by varying the ink on the plate, he was able to produce individual results at each printing.

He taught this technique to his friend Edgar Degas and the two co-operated on and signed, Degas’ large monotype “The Ballet Master” of 1874, now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

The appearance of Lepic in several works by Degas records some of the enthusiasm they had in common. These included horse racing and the ballet.

This painting was considered lost for four decades following World War II.  Until Russian authorities put it on exhibition at the Hermitage Museum in Russia, where it remains to this day.

During the Soviet occupation of Germany, the work was confiscated by the Soviets from the collection of Otto Gerstenberg and eventually moved to the Hermitage.

Gerstenberg owned one of the most prestigious private art collections at the beginning of the 20th century. Parts of this collection are now in Russian museums.

From 1945 to 1947, numerous paintings were confiscated by Soviet “trophy commissions” in the Soviet-occupied zone of Germany and brought to the Soviet Union.

Viscount Lepic and his Daughters Crossing the Place de la Concorde

  • Title:               Viscount Lepic and his Daughters Crossing the Place de la Concorde
  • Also:               Place de la Concorde
  • Artist:              Edgar Degas
  • Dates:            1875
  • Materials:       oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:   78.4 cm × 117.5 cm (30.9 in × 46.3 in)
  • Museum:        Hermitage Museum

“Count Lepic and His Daughters” by Edgar Degas

"Count Lepic and His Daughters" by Edgar Degas

“Count Lepic and His Daughters” by Edgar Degas

“Count Lepic and His Daughters” by Edgar Degas depicts Ludovic-Napoléon Lepic with his young daughters, Eylau and Jeanine Lepic.

Lepic was the grandson of the Napoleonic general Louis Lepic, from whom the title had descended. His father was Louis-Joseph-Napoléon Lepic (1810–1875) had a distinguished military career and was a close supporter of Napoléon III.

As a close friend of Edgar Degas, Lepic was depicted in several works by Degas  including:

  • “Gentlemen’s race: Before the start,” 1862 at the Musée d’Orsay which pictures Lepic mounted among the jockeys
  • “The ballet from “Robert le Diable,” 1871 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, where Lepic is shown gazing through opera glasses
  • “The Ballet from “Robert le Diable,” 1876  one of Degas’ earliest treatments of the subject, with Lepic in quarter profile from behind, at the Victoria & Albert Museum
  • “Place de la Concorde” by Edgar Degas at the Hermitage Museum.
  • “Count Lepic and His Daughters” by Edgar Degas at the Foundation E.G. Bührle
  • Lepic holding his dog, 1889  pastel at the Cleveland Museum of Art 

In 2008, this painting was stolen from Foundation E.G. Bührle in Zürich, Switzerland, but was recovered in 2012 with slight damage.

“Count Lepic and His Daughters” by Edgar Degas

  • Title:                Count Lepic and His Daughters
  • French:            Ludovic Lepic et ses filles
  • Artist:              Edgar Degas
  • Dates:             1871
  • Materials:        oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:   65 cm × 81 cm (26 in × 32 in)
  • Museum:        Foundation E.G. Bührle Collection (Stiftung Sammlung E. G. Bührle), Zürich, Switzerland.

Ludovic-Napoléon Lepic

Ludovic-Napoléon Lepic (1839 – 1889) was a French artist, archaeologist, and patron of the arts. He was among the original Impressionist group and later became a recognized marine painter.

In 1883, Lepic was appointed an official marine painter by the state, following his growing popularity. In 1879, he had a sizeable individual exhibition of some 100 pictures at the Gallery “La vie moderne,” and in 1883, he exhibited 150 at the Musée des Arts décoratifs.

He also published an illustrated account of an archaeological trip to Egypt, La dernière Egypte (1881).

Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas (1834–1917) was prolific in paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings. He was fond of the subject of dance, and more than half of his works depict dancers.

He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism, although Degas rejected the term, preferring to be called a Realist.

He was masterly in depicting movement, as can be seen in his many masterpieces of dancers, racecourse subjects, and female nudes.

Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas – Ludovic Lepic – 1871

Famous Edgar Degas Paintings

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“We were created to look at one another, weren’t we?”
– Edgar Degas

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Photo Credit: Edgar Degas [Public domain]

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