Dancer ready to dance, the right foot forward
Paris, modelled in the 1880s, cast 1919/21
This study of a dancer is one of more than thirty sculptures that Degas made of ballerinas. The clay or wax models supplemented the numerous drawings that the artist also made. Walter Sickert records that on a visit to Degas’ studio ‘he showed me a little statuette of a dancer’. ‘It was night’, he recalled, and Degas ‘held a candle up, and turned the statuette to show me the succession of shadows cast by its silhouette’. The sculptures became known to the public only after the artist’s death in 1917, when they were cast in bronze for sale.
Purchased 1948 (No. 48.17