Incredibly, this show is MoMA’s first-ever monographic exhibition of this Impressionist giant who became one of the most enduring and popular figures of 19th-century art. The exhibit spotlights a little-know aspect of the artist’s work: His experimentation with monotypes, a technique invented in 17th-century Italy. A monotype is created by laying paper down on a metal or glass plate covered with a design in wet paint or ink, then running them through a press to produce a one-of-a-kind print. Degas exploited the full potential of the monotype: Some of the most haunting and abstract images here were the result of initially inking the entire surface of a plate, then creating a subtractive image using brushes, rags or finely-pointed tools. He also add colored pastels in some cases once the monotype dried. All of Degas’s family subjects are here, including ballerinas, theater scenes and landscapes.