Degas was mainly recognized as a figure artist, known for his portraits, studies of nudes, and scenes from the ballet, the theater, and the racetrack, but his interests far exceeded those themes. This print belongs to a series of 50 landscape monotypes produced between 1890 and 1892. Paysage roux, which verges on the abstract, is one of the most experimental of the series. Most monotypes are created by applying inks or paints to a metal or glass plate. The image is then transferred to paper to make a print. Degas was a great innovator in the monotype medium. Here masses of viscous oil color were sponged onto a metal plate; rags and a stiff-bristled brush were then used to create variegated textures. Though inspired by his travels in Burgundy, these landscapes were not taken from life. Degas did not like painting outdoors, preferring to create “imaginary landscapes” from memory in the studio.

From Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 89 (2015)
Artist Edgar Degas, French, 1834-1917
  • Paysage Roux
  • Russet Landscape (translated title)
Date ca. 1890
Medium monotype printed in color ink on cream wove paper
Dimensions Image: 11 5/8 × 15 3/4 inches (29.5 × 40 cm)
Sheet: 11 5/8 × 15 3/4 inches (29.5 × 40 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Robert H. Tannahill Fund, in honor of Ellen Sharp
Accession Number 2001.69
Department Prints, Drawings & Photographs
Not On View
Marcel Guérin (Paris, France);
R.M. Light (Boston, Massachusetts, USA);
B.C. Holland (Chicago, Illinois, USA).
2001-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Sojka, Nancy. "What is the Graphic Arts Collection at the DIA?" Bulletin of the DIA 80, 1/2 (2006): (fig. 10), p. 11 (ill.).