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Degas' Little Dancer Aged Fourteen

Degas' Little Dancer Aged Fourteen

The earlier version that helped spark the birth of modern art

by Gregory Hedberg

312 pages, published in 2016

Sku No.:  20191445
Our Price:  $135.00
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In 1881, the debut of Degas' wax sculpture Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen in the sixth Impressionist exhibition in Paris caused an an uproar. But exactly why has remained a mystery. Scholars have pointed out that at the time there was nothing particularly unusual about the highly realistic wax sculpture adorned with real clothes.


Dr. Hedberg's new book presents compelling evidence that, in fact, the Little Dancer we know today is not the one that originally caused such controversy. Instead, thanks to the newly discovered plaster of Degas' Little Dancer, we now know that Degas originally rendered his sculpture with a nearly symmetrical, iconic pose---found also in one of the artist's last preliminary drawings for the Little Dancer. Degas blatantly cast aside tradition when he gave his lowly "opera rat" a hieratic pose usually reserved for immortals. In 1881, the iconic pose recorded by the plaster would be much more disturbing and radical than the more conventional contrapposto pose on the reworked wax that we know today.

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