Friday, June 8, 2018

"Chin Up"

6 x 6"
oil on panel

You might have run across Edgar Dega's sculpture of the young ballerina in several different art museums.  You're not crazy.  This Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen resides in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  When I visited the museum, it was not encased in a glass box, which made a huge difference in appreciating this perfect figurative sculpture.  And I mean perfect.

Degas painted young ballet dancers numerous times.  At rehearsals, stretching exercises and lessons in ballet studios.  He drew them in pastels and charcoal, painted them in oils.  The model for Little Dancer was Marie van Goethem who posed for the only sculpture exhibited in Dega's lifetime in 1881.  Little Dancer was originally executed in wax and later cast in bronze around 1922, after Dega's death.  Which is why you maybe have seen one yourself.

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