An image of Dancer looking at the sole of her right foot

Edgar Degas

(France 19 Jul 1834 – 27 Sep 1917)

Dancer looking at the sole of her right foot

Location
19th & 20th c European art
Further information

Although a founding and exhibiting member of the French Impressionists, Degas' preoccupation with the human figure and his intimate engagement with the minutiae of everyday life set him apart from the aims and methods of the group. "My art" he insisted, "has nothing spontaneous about it, it is all reflection" (Monnier). The distinctive linearity of Degas' work - a product of his classical training - evolved into a dynamic vocabulary of gesture and movement. His 600 or so variations on the theme of ballerinas have been compared to the photographic studies of animal and human locomotion undertaken by Eadweard Muybridge in the 1870s and '80s. Degas' fascination with the moving body was extended and developed through his sculptures, many of them produced as wax sketches and not cast until after his death.

Monnier, G. "Degas" J. Turner, ed. 'The Dictionary of Art' 34 vols. London: Macmillan, 1996

Year
1900-1910
cast 1919-1921
Media
Sculpture
Medium
bronze, cire perdu (lost wax)
Dimensions
48.0 cm height
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Credit
Bequest of Paul Haefliger 1982
Accession number
60.1983