DEGAS, Edgar
(b. 1834, Paris, d. 1917, Paris)

Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer

Bronze, tulle and satin, height 99 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Since 1880 Degas experimented with sculpture and he modeled more and more as his eyesight declined, making sculptures of ballerinas and horses. He sculpted in clay, wax and putty. After his death, about 150 small sculptural works were found in his studio. Only half of them were in a state to allow of bronze casts being taken.

At the sixth Impressionist exhibition in 1881 he showed his sculptures publicly for the first and only time. The reactions to the Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer were very different. Critics were especially provoked by Degas's having clad his wax figure in a gauze tutu, satin shoes and pale yellow silk bow.