Little Dancer of Fourteen Years by Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas
This sculpture by Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas is called Little Dancer of Fourteen Years (1880; cast 1920). The taut contours of the small bronze figure convey the nervous discipline of a young dancer. The position of her arms, drawn straight down and clasped behind her back, articulates the fragile bones of her chest and shoulders; the forward thrust of her head strains her facial features. Blurring the line between rendering and reality, Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas gave this dancer a real costume made of gauze and tied her braid with a satin ribbon.