Edgar DEGAS (1834-1917)

Lot 64
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Estimation :
20000 - 30000 EUR
Result without fees
Result : 82 000EUR
Edgar DEGAS (1834-1917)
Dancer, open arabesque on the right leg, left arm forward, first study. Proof in lost wax bronze with black patina. Signed on the terrace. Hébrard Fondeur, numbered 14/C. 20,5 x 26,4 x 9,3 cm. Small circular wear of patina on the right calf (7mm.). The dancer seems slightly tilted in relation to the axis of the base, restorable. Bibliography: Joseph S. Czestochowski & Anne Pingeot, Degas Sculptures, Catalogue Raisonné des Bronzes, Memphis, 2002, listed as #14 p148-149. After a first hesitant look at the work of Degas as a sculptor, Rodin declared: "I was wrong. Degas is a great sculptor. He is stronger than I am". The elegance of the equine gallop, the grace of the ballerinas, the sensual intimacy of the bathing girl with tubs are the fruits of his long pictorial experience. The dialogue between drawings, pastels and paintings and sculpture is continuous from the 1880s. But during the last years of his life, as his eyesight diminished, Degas devoted himself exclusively to sculpture and pastels in his studios on the rue Victor Massé and the boulevard de Clichy. In 1917, when the artist died, Paul Durand-Ruel inventoried 150 wax figures in the studio. In 1918, the foundryman Hébrard began the first lost wax casting of the 74 sculptures that were finally published. Each model will be cast in 20 copies, plus a few units reserved for the succession. The first series, which serves as a model, marked A, was to be donated to the Louvre Museum, but this was never confirmed and the set was acquired by the American billionaire Louisine HAVEMEYER, a friend of Mary Cassat's, who later donated it to the Metropolitan Museum in New York. The Louvre acquired a complete series in 1930 and the Ny Carlsberg in Copenhagen did the same in 1949. Numerous exhibitions of the more or less complete series were organized by Hébrard and presented in major galleries (Galerie Hébrard, 1921; Bernheim Jeune and Georges Petit, Paris; Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York; Leicester Galleries, London; Flechtheim and Thannhauser, Germany). Our two sculptures are an exceptional testimony of Degas' statuary art: search of the perfect balance in the movement, seizure of the moment which takes, under the artist's fingers, a timeless character.
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