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Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen

Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas, French, 1834 - 1917. Bronze cast by the foundry Adrien Hébrard, Paris.

Made in Paris, France, Europe

Executed in wax 1878-1881; cast in bronze c. 1922

Bronze, tulle, and silk

38 9/16 × 13 7/8 × 9 5/8 inches (98 × 35.2 × 24.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 252, European Art 1850-1900, second floor (Toll Gallery)

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
The Henry P. McIlhenny Collection in memory of Frances P. McIlhenny, 1986

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Degas depicted young ballet dancers--in performances, at rehearsals, or at moments of exhausted rest--in numerous paintings, drawings, pastels, and monotypes. In 1878, he added sculpture to his investigation of the theme. A young dancer named Marie van Goethem posed for what would be the only sculpture that Degas exhibited in his lifetime. Originally executed in wax and shown in 1881, the work daringly incorporated real elements such as the dancer's tulle tutu and silk hair ribbon. The sculpture was cast in bronze around 1922, several years after Degas's death.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.