Posts Tagged ‘Little Dancer’

Little Dancer - Edgar Degas

Little Dancer – Edgar Degas

Over the years I have posted many times about Edgar Degas and his dancers.   The Little Fourteen Year Old Dancer that he sculpted in 1880 is just beautiful.  Degas exhibited the original version of this sculpture at the 6th Impressionist exhibit in 1881.  The wax original was tinted to simulate flesh, clothed in a fabric bodice, tutu, and ballet slippers and topped with a horsehair wig tied behind with a silk ribbon.  Can you imagine seeing that???!!!  Did you know that this sculpture was not cast in bronze until after Degas died.  His family had it done and 69 sculptures survived the bronzing process.  (You can read and see more about it here and at the link at the end of this post.)


Degas Dancer from the back

Degas Dancer from the back

The wonderful thing about seeing the sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art recently is that they have it displayed right in the middle of a gallery where you can walk all the way around it.  Wonderful! And there are many Degas Dancer paintings hanging in the gallery with it.  A dancer would be in heaven!

There is much known and written about Degas and his dancers.  Check it out here.

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Over the next few days I want to share with you some of the wonderful art that I saw at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) this week.  Today it’s Edgar Degas that I feature.  A French painter and sculptor, he was born in 1834 and died in 1917. 

He is famous for his dancers and especially the “Little Dancer” sculpture that he did.  But did you know that the original piece, made of wax, stood in his studio for  forty years.  After he died his heirs decided to make bronze casts of it. They are completely bronze apart from the dancer’s gauze tutu and silk ribbon. There were less than thirty copies made  and many of them can now be seen in some of the world’s most best museums including Philadelphia and the National Gallery in Washington DC.

And continuing the ballet/dancer theme, this painting “The Ballet Class”, he painted in oil on canvas in 1880.  The information provided by the painting said, “Degas spent a great deal of time in the corridors and rehearsal rooms of the Opera, where he would have seen mothers like this one managing their young daughters’ careers.”

And another really interesting thing that I discovered at the PMA is their cell phone tour program.  You can dial this number, 267-519-5646 and punch in a number that relates to a particular painting, this one is #364, and hear more about the painting.  How cool is that?  Go ahead, give it a try.

How cool is that???!!!!

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