Edgar Degas has always been one of my favorite painters. His ability to capture movement of his favorite subjects, ballet dancers, is parallel to no other artist. Even when not performing his delicate dancers appeared in fluid motion, blending the fierce pride of a ballerina with sharply defined muscles and graceful control.

I did not realize Degas was also a prolific sculptor until I was doing research for different piece for Statue.com. Apparently, his sculpting capabilities were not known to the world until after his death. The only sculpture he publicly unveiled was titled “Fourteen Year Old Little Dancer.” Critics at the time were not-so-nice to Degas’ step away his usual form of Impressionism. After that negative experience he kept his sculptures private. Degas gravitated towards sculpture largely due to his failing eyesight. It is hard to fathom losing the ability to partake in a talent that was once critically acclaimed. To channel those talents in a different way but not receive the same acclaim would be even more heartbreaking.

Dancer Looking at the Sole of Her Right Foot

One hundred and fifty sculptures were found in Degas’ studio upon his death. Nearly all had reached some form of deterioration, made of wax, clay and plastiline. There was much debate as to what to do with the sculptures. Luckily for us, Degas’s heirs granted casts to be made from seventy-two of the figures. Including the sculptures, Little Dancer of Fourteen Years, Dancer Looking at the Sole of Her Right Foot and Grande Arabesque. The sculptures were to be cast in bronze, as we know them today. Their rough from is attributed to the deterioration of his medium but no less beautiful.  It is a shame to think these sculptures could have been lost in time.

By now most of the original works have deteriorated even more. Majority of these sculptures were not completed due to Degas’ indecisiveness. This is a common theme through artists. Michelangelo left a vast amount of work uncompleted. I guess you could say great minds operate alike.

It is hard to deny the beauty of Degas’ sculptures even in their rough unfinished form.  We are very proud to include them in our Statue.com gallery.

Grande Arabesque

To view our gallery of fine statuary, head on over to our website http://www.statue.com. If you have something in mind but cannot find it on the website feel free to contact us.

Reach us by phone Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (CT) 618-692-1121 or Toll-Free at 877-675-2634

Our fax number is 618-692-6775.

Send mail to us at: Statue.com, Inc., 100 N. Main St. Edwardsville, IL 62025.

We’d love to hear from you!

~Kristen

 

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