Portrait of Paul Valpinçon (d. 1894)
On View In:
Gallery 355
Artist:   Edgar Degas  
Title:   Portrait of Paul Valpinçon (d. 1894)  
Date:   c. 1855  
Medium:   Oil on canvas  
Dimensions:   15 7/8 x 12 3/4 in. (40.32 x 32.39 cm) (canvas) 24 x 20 3/8 x 3 1/8 in. (60.96 x 51.75 x 7.94 cm) (outer frame)  
Credit Line:   Gift of David M. Daniels in memory of Frances H. Daniels  
Location:   Gallery 355  

Edgar Degas and Paul Valpinçon had a lifelong friendship that began even before the two became classmates in 1846. In fact, their fathers were friends. Paul’s father, Edouard Valpinçon, played a role in Degas’s artistic development by encouraging the young artist’s interest in the French neoclassical painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Degas’s admiration of Ingres is apparent in the crisp, classicizing manner with which he captured his friend’s likeness in this portrait. Many years later, Paul’s daughter, Hortense, recounted the family history of the portrait’s creation. She said it was painted in the courtyard of her grandfather’s Paris home when her father was only twenty-one years old—an age that corresponds with the date of 1855 inscribed, in an unknown hand, on the painting’s reverse. The portrait remained with Hortense until the 1930s. Eventually it came into the collection of David M. Daniels, a native of St. Paul, who donated it to The Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 1974.

Name:   Degas, Edgar  
Nationality:   French  
Life Dates:   French, 1834-1917  

Object Description  
Inscriptions:   no markings on verso: UL stretcher: [Degas/Lemoisne no. 99/ 2144]; [J149]; [Degas 98] UC stretcher:  
Classification:   Paintings  
Creation Place:   Europe, France, , ,  
Accession #:   74.28  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts