Edgar Degas (1834-1917)
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Edgar Degas (1834-1917)

Danse espagnole

Edgar Degas (1834-1917)
Danse espagnole
stamped with the signature 'Degas' (Lugt 658), numbered and stamped with the foundry mark '45 CIRE PERDUE A.A.HÉBRARD' (on the top of the base)
bronze with black patina
Height: 17 1/8 in. (43.5 cm.)
Original wax model executed circa 1880s; cast from 1920-1921 by the A.A. Hébrard foundry in an edition of twenty, numbered A to T, plus two casts reserved for the Degas heirs and the founder; this version cast by 1934
Adle Serrire, Paris.
Jean Serrire, Paris.
Galerie Lorenceau, Paris.
Exh. cat., Exposition des sculptures de Degas, Galerie A.A. Hébrard, Paris, May - June 1921, no. 45 (another cast exhibited).
J. Rewald, Degas, Works in Sculpture, A Complete Catalogue, New York, 1944, no. LXVII, p. 27 (another cast illustrated p. 130).
J. Rewald, Degas Sculpture, The Complete Works, London, 1957, no. LXVII (another cast illustrated pls. 46-50).
F. Russoli & F. Minervino, L'opera completa di Degas, Milan, 1970, no. S16 (another cast illustrated).
C.W. Millard, The Sculpture of Edgar Degas, Princeton, 1976, no. 69 (another cast illustrated).
J. Rewald, Degas's Complete Sculpture, Catalogue Raisonné, San Francisco, 1990, no. LXVII, p. 170 (the wax version illustrated; another cast illustrated p. 171).
A. Pingeot, Degas Sculptures, Paris, 1991, no. 17 (another cast illustrated).
S. Campbell, Degas, 'The Sculptures, A Catalogue Raisonné', in Apollo, no. 402, vol. CXLII, August 1995, pp. 20-21 (another cast illustrated p. 20).
J. S. Czestochowski & A. Pingeot, Degas Sculptures, Catalogue Raisonné of the Bronzes, Memphis, 2002, no. 45, p. 209 (another cast illustrated).
S. Glover Lindsay, D.S. Barbour & S.G. Sturman, Edgar Degas Sculpture, Washington D.C., 2010, no. 20, pp. 156-160 (the wax version illustrated p. 21).
Paris, Galerie A.A. Hébrard, Exposition des sculpteurs d'Edgar Degas, 1921, no. 17.
Paris, Fondation Mercédes, La recherche du mouvement dans l'art moderne de 1870 à nos jours, 1971.
London, Arts Council of Great Britain, The Sculptures of Degas, 1982, pp. 30-31.
Nottingham, Castle Museum, Art in Performance - Performance in Art, 1987.
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Adrienne Dumas
Adrienne Dumas

Lot Essay

The title Danse espagnole implies that it is the dance, rather than the dancer, that is Spanish; this was the title referred to by Hébrard, who owned the foundry that cast the bronzes, in the first major exhibition of Degas' sculptures. The ballerinas and models that Degas used and who featured on the stage in Paris were often of a number of nationalities and certainly, during the mid to late-1880s when Danse espagnole may have been conceived, there was a vogue for Spanish culture in France. Groups of Spanish musicians and dancers toured the country, just as the Russian dancers later would, again captivating Degas. This had an effect on the culture in France as well, where various aspects of Spanish dance and music were adapted for the Paris audiences.
Regardless of whether Danse espagnole records a specific Spaniard or a Hispanic flavoured dance, it is clear that, in formal terms, the playing of the castanets has provided Degas with a subject matter that fascinated him enough that he explored it in two separate sculptures - another variation exists in which the surface retains heavier traces of Degas' working, as opposed to the finer sheen of Danse espagnole, that in turn has a more lustrous finish which accentuates the elegant flow of this posture.

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