Degas And His Model

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"Monsieur Degas, you just said some things that would make an old soldier blush!"

There are many myths about Edgar Degas—from Degas the misanthrope to Degas the deviant to Degas the obsessive. But there is no single text that better stokes the fire than Degas and His Model, a short memoir by Alice Michel, who purportedly modeled for Degas. Never before translated into English, the text’s original publication in Mercure de France in 1919, shortly after the artist’s death, has been treated as an important account of the master sculptor at work. We know that Alice was writing under a pseudonym, but who the real person behind this account was remains a mystery. Yet the descriptions seem too accurate, the anecdotes too spot-on to discount; even the dialogue captures the artist’s tone and mannerisms


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