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"Large Bronze - Little Dancer of Fourteen Years - signed Degas"
The original of the "Little Dancer of Fourteen Years" (in French: "Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans") stands out for a hyper-realistic representation. Here we see a new form of naturalism: Degas dressed his dancer in real tulle and uses a satin ribbon to bind her hair. The Little Dancer of Fourteen Years is the only work that Degas exhibited in his lifetime. The model for this essentially realistic work is known to have been Marie Van Goethem. Born on June 7, 1865, she was a student at the École de Danse in Paris, and by 1880 she had been engaged as a dancer at the Opéra. The title, The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer, given to the original mixed-media sculpture when it was exhibited by Degas in the sixth Impressionist exhibition held in Paris in 1881, provides the most solid evidence for the sculpture's date.
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The bronze statue was made in the lost wax method practiced for thousands of years and fulfills strict quality guidelines. The method is subject to a complex, multi-day process of about 30 steps.
Edgar Degas (1834–1917) was a French artist famous for his paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings. He is especially identified with the subject of dance; more than half of his works depict dancers. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism, although he rejected the term, preferring to be called a realist. He was a superb draftsman, and particularly masterly in depicting movement, as can be seen in his renditions of dancers, racecourse subjects and female nudes. His portraits are notable for their psychological complexity and for their portrayal of human isolation.
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