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Edgar Degas, ‘Little Dancer Aged Fourteen’, 1878-1881, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
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Edgar Degas

Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, 1878-1881

Yellow wax, hair, ribbon, linen bodice, satin shoes, muslin tutu, wood base
Permanent collection
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About the work
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Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington
Edgar Degas
French, 1834–1917
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Though he rejected the label, Edgar Degas contributed significantly to Impressionism with his depictions of fleeting moments and images of modern Parisian life—in theaters, cafés, and, most iconically, ballet studios. “It is much better to draw what you can't see anymore but is in your memory,” he said. “You only reproduce what struck you, that is to say the necessary.” Degas was trained in a traditional academic style, which is particularly evident in the classical subjects of his early works, and he was a master draftsman and capturer of emotions. As his practice evolved, he developed a profound interest in the poses and physicality of ballet, producing approximately 1,500 depictions of dancers over the course of his career. Like many of his contemporaries, Degas was influenced by Japanese prints, which inspired him to experiment with asymmetrical compositions and unusual vantage points. He also worked in a wide range of mediums and techniques, and was particularly known for his use of pastel to depict the figure with an almost sculptural solidity.

Edgar Degas, ‘Little Dancer Aged Fourteen’, 1878-1881, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Save
Save
Share
Share
About the work
Articles
Medium
Sculpture
Image rights
Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington
Edgar Degas
French, 1834–1917
Follow

Though he rejected the label, Edgar Degas contributed significantly to Impressionism with his depictions of fleeting moments and images of modern Parisian life—in theaters, cafés, and, most iconically, ballet studios. “It is much better to draw what you can't see anymore but is in your memory,” he said. “You only reproduce what struck you, that is to say the necessary.” Degas was trained in a traditional academic style, which is particularly evident in the classical subjects of his early works, and he was a master draftsman and capturer of emotions. As his practice evolved, he developed a profound interest in the poses and physicality of ballet, producing approximately 1,500 depictions of dancers over the course of his career. Like many of his contemporaries, Degas was influenced by Japanese prints, which inspired him to experiment with asymmetrical compositions and unusual vantage points. He also worked in a wide range of mediums and techniques, and was particularly known for his use of pastel to depict the figure with an almost sculptural solidity.

Edgar Degas

Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, 1878-1881

Yellow wax, hair, ribbon, linen bodice, satin shoes, muslin tutu, wood base
Permanent collection
Want to sell a work by this artist? Consign with Artsy.
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