Skip to content

Collection

An image of Dancer looking at the sole of her right foot by Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas

(France 19 Jul 1834 – 27 Sep 1917)

Title
Dancer looking at the sole of her right foot
Alternative title:
Danseuse regardant la plante de son pied droit
Year
1900-1910
cast 1919-1921
Media category
Sculpture
Materials used
bronze, cire perdu (lost wax)
Dimensions

48.0 cm height

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Credit
Bequest of Paul Haefliger 1982
Accession number
60.1983
Location
19th & 20th c European art
Further information

Although a founding and exhibiting member of the French Impressionists, Degas' preoccupation with the human figure and his intimate engagement with the minutiae of everyday life set him apart from the aims and methods of the group. "My art" he insisted, "has nothing spontaneous about it, it is all reflection" (Monnier). The distinctive linearity of Degas' work - a product of his classical training - evolved into a dynamic vocabulary of gesture and movement. His 600 or so variations on the theme of ballerinas have been compared to the photographic studies of animal and human locomotion undertaken by Eadweard Muybridge in the 1870s and '80s. Degas' fascination with the moving body was extended and developed through his sculptures, many of them produced as wax sketches and not cast until after his death.

Monnier, G. "Degas" J. Turner, ed. 'The Dictionary of Art' 34 vols. London: Macmillan, 1996

Bibliography (8)

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Five years on: a selection of acquisitions 1981-1986, Sydney, 1986, (illus.). cat.no. 136

Anthony Bond, Body, 'Embodying the Real', pg. 11-80, Sydney, 1997, 15 (colour illus.), 143,. figure 4, cat.no. 36

Patricia Failing, ARTnews, 'The Degas bronzes Degas never knew', pg. 38-41, New York, Apr 1979.

Kunstmuseum Bern, Degas, Bern, 1951.

C.W. Millard, The sculpture of Edgar Degas, New Jersey, 1976, 18-19.

Margaret Olley and Barry Humphries, Favourites: Margaret Olley and Barry Humphries choose from public and private collections, Sydney, 2000. Catalogue entry appears in inserted list to printed catalogue

John Rewald, Degas sculpture, the complete works, London, circa 1957, (illus.).

Greame Sturgeon, Art and Australia (Vol. 22, No. 1), 'Lost and found: a decade of sculpture at the Art Gallery of New South Wales', pg. 74-79, Sydney, Spring 1984, 74-75 (illus.), 78.

Exhibition history (5)

Degas, Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern, 25 Nov 1951–13 Jan 1952

Five years on: a selection of acquisitions 1981-1986, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 26 Sep 1986–23 Nov 1986

Body, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 Sep 1997–16 Nov 1997

Favourites: Margaret Olley and Barry Humphries choose from Australian collections (2000), S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, 15 Jan 2000–27 Feb 2000

Monet and the Impressionists, Te Papa - Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, 14 Feb 2009–17 May 2009