Friday, October 25, 2019
Ã¢â¬Å"Little Dancer, Aged 14Ã¢â¬ In 1881, Edgar Degas caused a scandal by unveiling Little Dancer Aged Fourteen (Petite danseuse de quatorze ans), his wax sculpture of a young ballet "ratÃ¢â¬ . Today, Degas' creation is considered a masterwork of Impressionist sculpture, a piece worthy of detailed study in an international exhibition. It wasn't just the subject matter of Little Dancer that repulsed critics in 1881 at an exhibition in which impressionist presented their work. The little dancer, Marie van Goethem, was a normal girl standing in a very normal position; it shows her hands behind her back instead of dancing. That ordinariness irritated those who believed that sculpture had to be monumental in subject and design. Degas also had the foolhardiness to use real materials, a muslin tutu, linen bodice, satin ballet shoes, a real hair wig and a colored satin ribbon rather than the customary media of bronze, stone and wood. (Wolgamott) Edgar DegasÃ¢â¬â¢s birth name was Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas. He was born in July of 1834 in Paris, France. Compared to most families at this time, he grew up moderately wealthy. Degas began to paint when he was very young. By the time he graduated from school in 1853, when he was 18, with a baccalaureate in literature, he created an art studio in his home to create his works of art. Ã¢â¬Å"After he completed high school, he applied to work in the Louvre Museum; however his father pressured him into to law school not believing in art as a career. Degas enrolled at the Faculty of Law of the University of Paris in November 1853, but put forth very little effort to his studies if any at all. In the early months of 1855, Degas was granted access to the Ãâ°cole des Beaux-Arts, a French art school, his mentor whom he stu... ...ind it concerning that his subject would be of this age even for this period of time. My focus, unlike the professionals who critiqued this sculpture, is not based on the childÃ¢â¬â¢s aesthetics, it is on her age and why she is posing nude for an artist. One canÃ¢â¬â¢t help but think further on that subject, and how that Degas and other powerful male figures abused their power. The use of the cloth corset, satin objects and real hair wig is fascinating to me. In this era of art although the artwork that was created was of Ã¢â¬Å"realÃ¢â¬ things, you would not see the use of various materials on a clay sculpture. In fact, the idea was unheard of. Degas was one of the leading creators of the impressionism period along with Monet, without them the art world would not be the same and we would not view art and the various brush strokes and darkness of colors in the same light.