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Edgar Degas - Figures In Motion
21 December 2013 - 31 March 2014
General Staff building

Born in 1834 as Hilaire-Germain-Edgar de Gas, the artist Edgar Degas began sculpting in wax circa 1860. He modeled a large number of his waxes in conjunction with his well-known paintings and drawings. His most important wax sculpture, The Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen, was exhibited in the 1881 Sixth Impressionist Exhibition in Paris.

The wax sculpture, dressed with a bodice, tutu, slippers and a wig made with real hair, was radically different from any sculpture previously seen. It caused a sensation. While some reviews were very favorable, most were hostile and negative, the reason why Degas never exhibited another sculpture during his lifetime. Shortly after his death in 1917 his heirs found about 150 of his wax sculptures scattered around his home and studio. Seventy-four were cast in bronze. The subjects included his highly regarded dancers in motion, dancers at rest, horses in motion and at rest, bathers and seated figures.

The State Hermitage Museum is presenting this exhibition, "Edgar Degas-Figures In Motion" to highlight the importance of the bronze sculptures of Edgar Degas and place them in the proper historical context of modern masterpieces. The entire collection of 74 bronze sculptures will be on loan to the museum for two years, courtesy of the M.T. Abraham Foundation, Paris.

A scholarly hardcover catalog will accompany the exhibition and include essays by Dr. Jon Whiteley, Dr. June Hargrove, and Ms. Geraldine Norman with forewords by Dr. Mikhail B. Piotrovsky and Mr. Amir G. Kabiri.


The Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen
Casting - 1997
Larger view


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