Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas

Style: Impressionism, Realism

Lived: July 19, 1834 - September 27, 1917 (19th - 20th century)

Nationality: France

Little Dancer of Fourteen Years

Little Dancer of Fourteen Years

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Little Dancer of Fourteen Years


by Edgar Degas

Bronze, yellow wax, hair, ribbon, linen bodice, satin shoes, muslin tutu, wood base height 97 cm "La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans" ("Little Dancer of Fourteen Years"), c. 1881, is a sculpture by Edgar Degas of a young dance student named Marie van Goethem. The sculpture was first cast in plaster before it was cast in 1922 in bronze. "Little Dancer of Fourteen Years" is made from wax, an unusual choice of material for a sculpture of this time, dressed in a cotton skirt with a hair ribbon, sitting on a wooden base. The relationship between Marie van Goethem and Edgar Degas is one of debate. It was usual in 1880 for the 'Petits Rats' of the Opera of Paris to seek protectors from among the wealthy visitors at the back door of the opera. When the "La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans" was shown in Paris at the Sixth Impressionist Exhibition of 1881, it received mixed reviews. The majority of critics where shocked by the piece. They thought it was ugly, that it looked like a medical specimen, in part because Degas exhibited it inside a glass case. Some considered the head and face grotesque and primitive. One copy of "La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans" is currently owned by the creator and owner of Auto Trader, John Madejski. He stated that he bought the sculpture by accident. The original wax model was sold for $12,377,500 to François Pinault at Sotheby's in November 1999

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Dancing Girl of Fourteen
Edgar Degas
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