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Details

  • Title: Little Dancer Aged Fourteen
  • Date Created: 1878-1881
  • Physical Dimensions: overall without base: 98.9 x 34.7 x 35.2 cm (38 15/16 x 13 11/16 x 13 7/8 in) weight: 49 lb. (22.226 kg)
  • Provenance: The artist [1834-1917]; his heirs;[1] Adrien-Aurélien Hébrard [1865-1937], Paris;[2] his daughter, Nelly Hébrard [1904-1985], Paris;[3] consigned 1955 to (M. Knoedler & Company, Inc., New York); purchased May 1956 by Paul Mellon, Upperville, Virginia; bequest 1999 to NGA. [1] The artist's heirs were René De Gas, his last surviving brother, who lived in Paris, and the four (of seven) surviving children of his sister Marguerite, who had died in Argentina in 1895. (His other deceased sister Thérèse left no descendants.) Marguerite's children were: Jeanne Fevre, unmarried and acting on both her own behalf and as the representative of her sister, Madeleine Marie Pauline Fevre, a Carmelite nun; Henri Jean Auguste Marie Fevre, an industrialist who lived in Marseille; and Gabriel Edgar Eugène Fevre, an agent in Montevideo, Uruguay. See Anne Pingeot and Frank Horvat, _Degas sculptures_, Paris, 1991, and Anne Pingeot, "The casting of Degas' sculptures: Completing the story," _Apollo_ (August 1995): 60-63. [2] On 13 May 1918 a contract was signed between the artist's heirs and the Hébrard foundry authorizing the reproduction of Degas' sculptures in bronze. Of the approximately 150 statuettes found in the artist's studio after his death, 74 figures were ultimately cast in bronze. The contract stipulated that two complete sets were to be cast, one for the heirs and one for the foundry, and authorized a limit of twenty casts of each figure to be offered for sale. The casting process took at least thirteen years, from 1919 to 1932, and according to the contract, the original figures became the property of the foundry. See Sara Campbell, "Degas' bronzes: Introduction," _Apollo_ (August 1995): 6-10. [3] The article by Anne Pingeot referenced in note 1 provides details of the role of Hébrard's daughter in the history of the foundry, and its work in casting the bronzes.
  • Medium: pigmented beeswax, clay, metal armature, rope, paintbrushes, human hair, silk and linen ribbon, cotton faille bodice, cotton and silk tutu, linen slippers, on wooden base

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