This National Gallery of Art bookmark is adapted from Edgar Degas's Little Dancer Aged Fourteen (1878‒1881).
Executed in wax and dressed in a ballerina's tutu, Little Dancer Aged Fourteen caused a sensation when it was exhibited in 1881. Modeled in a colored wax and adorned with real hair and a fabric costume, Little Dancer broke with 19th-century academic practice by introducing unusual mixed materials and representing a provocative modern subject. It is the only sculpture Edgar Degas exhibited publicly.
The young dancer stands posed in a casual fourth position, her back arched, belly forward, hands clasped tightly behind her back. For Degas, she represented the tension inherent in the life of the young dancer, displaying both the awkwardness of youth and the graceful promise of a great ballerina.
- 1.75 x 3.5 inches
- Solid brass, electroplated with non-tarnishing silver finish, giclee print