Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer
La petite danseuse de quatorze ans
original model 1878–81, cast after 1921
Object Place, France
Total height: 103.7 cm; Height of Figure: 98 cm; Height of base: 5.7 cm; width of base 45.5 cm; depth of base: 46.5 cm
Medium or Technique
Bronze, gauze and satin
Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)
This is Degas's largest surviving sculpture and the only one he titled and exhibited. The original wax version, a portrait of a young Belgian dancer named Marie von Gloethem, was shown at the 1881 Impressionist exhibition in Paris. The wax was tinted to resemble flesh, hair, and fabric, and the figure was dressed in pink slippers and bodice in addition to a skirt and ribbon similar to those on this cast. The excessive naturalism of the work offended many viewers, but the critic J.-K. Huysmans called it "the only really modern attempt that I know in sculpture."
Possibly Jeanne Févre, Nice, France [see note 1]. 1938, Marie Harriman Gallery, New York; 1938, sold by Harriman Gallery to the MFA for $3400. (Accession Date: December 8, 1938) NOTES:  Mlle. Févre was Degas's niece; this information comes from notes in the MFA curatorial file but has not been verified.
Frederick Brown Fund and Contributions from William Claflin and William Emerson