Degas. Dancer Looking at the Sole of Her Right Foot
Edgar Germain Hilaire Degas (1834-1917). Dancer Looking at the Sole of Her Right Foot, wax original model circa 1895, later cast in plaster, bronze cast around 1919-1920.
"From the late 1860s Degas took up sculpture, focusing in particular on ballerinas. Degas modelled his figures in a highly malleable mixture of wax and clay, using ordinary things like matchsticks, wire and wine corks to strengthen them. Degas never had any of his sculpture cast in bronze.
One of the very few sculptures of ballet dancers known to have been cast in plaster during Degas’ lifetime, this work demonstrates his ability to capture and give dignity to a fleeting moment of effort. The woman depicted here was one of Degas’ regular models, Pauline, who in an interview after his death talked about the great strain of holding this particular pose."
The Courtauld Gallery.