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Resting on a small base, the figure is shown in mid-movement, in a pose that could not be long sustained by either a dancer or a professional model. Movement was one of the great themes of Degas' art, whether it was that of a ballet dancer or of a racehorse. Degas was familiar with the high-speed photographs of Eadweard Muybridge, and is known to have based certain drawings and sculptures on them. This work may have been suggested by a Muybridge photograph of 1887, titled 'Woman Sitting Down in Chair and Pulling on Stocking'.

August 2004