Art & Artists / Highlights / Edgar Degas - Little dancer aged fourteen

Edgar Degas - Little dancer aged fourteen

Degas, Edgar (1834 - 1917)
Little dancer aged fourteen
France, 1880-1 / c. 1922
Bronze, fabric
h 98.0 x w 51.0 x d 51.0 cm

Made in 1880 for the Impressionist exhibition of 1881, the original wax sculpture shocked audiences with its hyperrealism. Degas exhibited the sculpture wearing a real tutu, ballet slippers, and a wig made from real hair, tied with a silk ribbon. Some years after Degas' death, nearly 30 bronze casts were made of the wax sculpture.

The figure was based on a young Belgian dancer called Marie van Goethem, who was a student at the Paris Opera, where Degas often painted and sketched.

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