Skip to main content
Portrait of Elena Carafa
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas
/

Elena Carafa was Degas’s first cousin. Her mother, Stefanina, the Duchessa Montejasi-Cicerale, was the youngest sister of Degas’s father. Like many members of Degas’s family they lived in Naples, which Degas himself returned to in the winter of 1873–4, when he accompanied his dying father there. He was in Naples again in 1875 for the funeral of an uncle.

This portrait was either painted during one of these visits – being in mourning may explain Elena’s black dress – or when Elena was in Paris. Degas had previously painted Elena with her younger sister, Camilla, around 1865–8. In that portrait, she also looks directly at us.

Degas originally planned to show Elena facing towards the right, with a more pensive look. In the finished painting, he turned her face and upper body to the left so that she looks at us directly.

Key facts
Artist Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas
Artist dates 1834 - 1917
Full title Portrait of Elena Carafa
Date made about 1875
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 70.1 x 55 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, Courtauld Fund, 1926
Inventory number NG4167
Location in Gallery Room 42
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo