Edgar Degas Dancer Looking at the Sole of her Right Foot ?1910–11, posthumous cast

Artwork details

Edgar Degas 1834–1917
Dancer Looking at the Sole of her Right Foot
Danseuse regardant la plante de son pied droit
Date ?1910–11, posthumous cast
Medium Bronze
Dimensions Object: 476 x 267 x 216 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1949
Not on display

Display caption

Degas did not give this work its title, and it seems likely that this figure is not even a dancer. The idea for the sculpture may have originated in a series of studies of bathers climbing out of a bath and drying their feet. As in all his sculptures, Degas has focused not on the figure's sexual identity but on her physical action. 'These women of mine', he once said, 'are honest, simple folk, unconcerned by any other interests than those involved in their physical condition'. While such comments are, to some extent, typical of nineteenth-century attitudes, recent scholars have debated the assumptions about class and gender that Degas' works reveal.

August 2004

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