09 April 2016

Marie van Goethem

Edgar Degas: La petite danseuse de 14 ans (1881)

Little Dancer of Fourteen Years is a two-thirds life size (99 cm) sculpture by Edgar Degas of a young student of the Paris Opera Ballet dance school, Marie van Goethem.

Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, by Edgar Degas

« Now adored, this original wax version of Edgar Degas’ Little Dancer Aged Fourteen was reviled by most critics when it was shown at the 1881 impressionist exhibition in ParisExplore This Work

Between 1878 and 1881, Edgar Degas drew, painted and sculpted Marie van Goethem in artworks including Dancer with Fan, Dancing Lesson, Dancer Resting, numerous preparatory sketches and most famously in La petite danseuse de 14 ans. He frequently attended ballet performances at the Paris Opera and often observed classes at the dance school. By posing for Degas, Marie likely earned five to six francs per four-hour sitting.

Edgar Degas: Three Studies of a Dancer in Fourth Position
Amy Littlesugar, Ian Schoenherr: Marie in Fourth Position