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

Danseuse habillée au repos, les mains sur les reins, la jambe droite en avant

Edgar Degas (1834-1917)
Danseuse habillée au repos, les mains sur les reins, la jambe droite en avant
stamped with signature, numbered and stamped with foundry mark 'Degas 51/C A.A. HÉBRARD CIRE PERDUE' (Lugt 658; on the top of the base)
bronze with dark brown patina
Height: 17 in. (43.2 cm.)
Original wax model executed in 1895-1905; this bronze version cast by 1952 in an edition numbered A to T plus two casts reserved for the Degas heirs and the founder Hébrard marked HER.D and HER respectively
Arthur Goldschmidt, Paris.
M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York (acquired from the above, March 1952).
Dorothy Dear Hutton, Westbury, New York (acquired from the above, February 1954).
Acquired by the late owner, by circa 1995.
J. Rewald, Degas: Works in Sculpture, A Complete Catalogue, New York, 1944, p. 115, no. LII (another cast illustrated).
P. Borel, Les sculptures inédites de Degas, Geneva, 1949 (original wax model illustrated).
J. Rewald, L'oeuvre sculpté de Degas, Paris, 1957, p. 155, no. LII (another cast illustrated, pl. 52).
J. Rewald and L. Von Matt, L'oeuvre sculpté de Degas, Zurich, 1957, p. 155, no. LII (original wax model illustrated, pl. 52).
T. Reff, Degas: The Artist's Mind, New York, 1976, p. 240, no. 159 (another cast illustrated, p. 241; dated circa 1900).
J. Rewald, Degas's Complete Sculpture: Catalogue Raisonné, San Francisco, 1990, p. 142, no. LII (original wax model illustrated; another cast illustrated, p. 143).
A. Pingeot, Degas: Sculptures, Paris, 1991, p. 163, no. 23 (original wax model and another cast illustrated).
S. Campbell, "Degas, The Sculptures: A Catalogue Raisonné," Apollo, vol. CXLII, no. 402, August 1995, pp. 35-36, no. 51 (another cast illustrated, p. 35, fig. 49).
J.S. Czestochowski and A. Pingeot, Degas Sculptures: Catalogue Raisonné of the Bronzes, Memphis, 2002, p. 221, no. 51 (original wax model illustrated and another cast illustrated in color; another cast illustrated in color, p. 220).
S. Campbell, R. Kendall, D.S. Barbour and S.G. Sturman, Degas in the Norton Simon Museum, London, 2009, vol. II, pp. 400-403 and 540, no. 78 (original wax model and another cast illustrated in color).
S.G. Lindsay, D.S. Barbour and S.G. Sturman, Edgar Degas Sculpture, Washington, D.C., 2010, p. 370 (original wax model illustrated in color).

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Lot Essay

In the world of dance, Degas discovered a parallel domain to that of the performance; the grand theatrical spectacle comprised only one aspect of the artist’s treatment of the ballet in his work. He observed, considered and often recorded instances of the off-stage lives of the theatre—in the wings, backstage and behind the scenes in rehearsal and practice rooms, wherever such encounters caught his eye. Degas modeled in Danseuse habillée au repos, les mains sur les reins, la jambe droite en avant not a key ballet position, but instead a moment aside, out of the public eye, ostensibly banal and insignificant, except that it represents—most truthfully—one of countless such passing points in time that make up much of the day in the life of a dancer, or an artist or an ordinary person.
Hands on her hips, either tensing her spine in preparation for a performance or stretching it after her exertions are done, this Danseuse au repos figure proved to be usefully adaptable in numerous situations that Degas explored beginning in the mid-1890s. The present work is the only example subsequent to the famous Petite danseuse de quatorze ans (Rewald, no. XX) to be depicted in full costume and shown at the Sixth Impressionist Exhibition in 1881. The pose appears in more than twenty charcoal drawings, pastels and oil paintings, which range from simple nude studies to complex groupings of two or three clothed dancers in the wings of the stage.
“Habitually and randomly surrounded by his sculptures, drawings, pastels and painting in the vast rue Victor Massé studio,” Richard Kendall has written, “Degas appears to have moved freely from one object and one image to another, borrowing a posture from a wax model or situation a familiar pose in a novel setting. The commerce between living models and their wax replacements, between space-occupying reality and linear invention, must have been intense. Indicative of the profusions of such examples in the remarkable family of pictures and sculptures based on a single ballerina with her hands on her hips… This haunting subject pervades every medium, in every stage of dress and undress, and in every state of completion, in Degas’s late oeuvre” (Degas: Beyond Impressionism, exh. cat., The National Gallery, London, 1996, p. 256).
Other casts of the present sculpture can be found in public institutions, including The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen and Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Brazil.

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