Edgar Degas

Dancer Putting on her Stocking

c.1900, posthumous cast

Not on display

Edgar Degas 1834–1917
Original title
Danseuse mettant son bas
Object: 470 × 222 × 267 mm
Presented by the Art Fund 1951

Display caption

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'.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

Edgar Degas 1834-1917

N05918 Danseuse mettant son Bas (Dancer putting on her Stocking) c.1900-5

Stamped 'Degas', '29/F' and founder's stamp 'CIRE | PERDUE | A.A. HÉBRARD' on base
Bronze, 18 1/8 x 7 1/2 x 12 (46 x 19 x 30.5), the width including the projecting base
Presented by the National Art-Collections Fund 1951
Prov: NACF (purchased from the founder A.A. Hébrard, Paris, through the Leicester Galleries, London, 1923)
Exh: Works in Sculpture of Edgar Degas, Leicester Galleries, London, February-March 1923 (14); lent by the NACF to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1923-6; Opening Exhibition of the Modern Foreign Gallery, Tate Gallery, June-October 1926 (works not numbered); on loan to the Tate Gallery from 1926 until presented
Lit: John Rewald, Degas: Works in Sculpture (New York 1944), No.LVI, p.26, repr. p.121; John Rewald, Degas: Sculpture (London 1957), No.LVI, p.154, repr. pl.74; Mich?le Beaulieu, 'Les Sculptures de Degas: Essai de Chronologie' in Revue du Louvre, XIX, No.6, 1969, p.380; Charles W. Millard, The Sculpture of Edgar Degas (Princeton 1976), p.69, wax repr. pl.104

Degas made at least two other sculptures of this attitude (Rewald Nos.LVII and LVIII). All are assigned by Rewald to the period 1896-1911, on account of their vigorous sketchy finish; this would appear to be one of the first versions. The original is in brown wax and has pieces of wire wound around the raised foot. Charles W. Millard has pointed out that the pose is clearly related to a drawing of a Classical figure from Degas' student days.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.154-5, reproduced p.154

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