Hello. Thanks for the visit. I have finally found my cyber studio under this big oak tree (after many other names were taken). Degas’s ‘petite danseuse de quatorze ans’ was the only choice for my first blog piece . The dichotomy of her critics seems the story of every artist. Most of her spectators were uneasy about Degas’ method and medium . What disturbed the public and critics most about this sculpture was Degas’ choice of model, an “opera rat” according to Elie de Mont. A monkey, an Aztec, a puny specimen-if she was smaller one would be tempted to enclose her in a jar of alcohol”(La Civilisation, april 21 1881). For Degas, he found this model to be a magnificent fascination. She epitomizes the quality that all of his resting dancers convey…released for a moment away from the discipline of their work.
Few critics saw this dancer for a masterpiece, however one did say, “I experience before this statuette one of the most violent artistic expressions of my life-something I have been dreaming of for a very long time…the work not understood today will perhaps one day be regarded respectfully in a museum as the first work of a new art” ( Nina de Villars, Le Courrier du Soir, april 23, 1881).
The model was Marie van Goethem. While working on this drawing, I imagined her to be devoted with a serious commitment to the task of being a model for Edgar degas. She later pursued a career as an artist model at such haunts as Le Rat Mort and the café de la Nouvelle Athenes.
I hope to keep posting new drawings monthly and that this venue will provide the space but mostly encourage me to show new work.