Formerly in the collection of Samuel Courtauld. Accepted by HM Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the Samuel Courtauld Trust, 2010
In his sculptures of dancers, Edgar Degas sought to capture the body in motion or in strenuous ballet postures. His models were often young and impoverished ballerinas at the Paris Opéra. A regular model of his, known only as Pauline, described the strain of this pose, which she held repeatedly over many sessions.