Object Image

Hélène Rouart in her Father's Study

Hélène Rouart stands in her father's study, her hands resting on the back of his empty chair. Works from his art collection can be seen behind her, including three Egyptian statues in a glass case and, above her, a Chinese wall hanging. Although Degas set down the final composition with little subsequent alteration, he did rework areas of the surface, even applying pastel directly to the canvas.

Hélène was the daughter of the engineer and amateur artist Henri Rouart, a friend of Degas who had a substantial collection of contemporary French painting, including work by Degas. When Hélène was nine, Degas had painted a portrait of her sitting on her father's knee. She was 23 and married when this ...

c. 1886
Oil on canvas
162.5 x 121.0cm
Image and text © The National Gallery, London, 2023

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