Edgar Degas (French, Paris 1834–1917 Paris), Self-portrait, 1857. Etching on wove paper; first state of four. Plate: 9 1/16 x 5 11/16 in. (23 x 14.4 cm) Sheet: 10 11/16 x 7 in. (27.2 x 17.8 cm). Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Richard J. Bernhard Gift, 1972. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972.625 © 2000–2016 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Degas's early study of printmaking led him to a close examination of Rembrandt's etched portraits, including their shifts between more and less finished compositions. This exceptionally rare first state of the artist's 1857 self-portrait has an evanescent quality, an effect that is reinforced by the complete lack of finish in the sitter's hands and the drawing tools they hold, which are visible in later states. 

This work is exhibited in the "Unfinished: Thoughts Left Invisible" exhibition, on view through September 4th, 2016. #MetBreuer