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(French: La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans) is a c. 1881 sculpture by Edgar Degas of a young student of the Paris Opera Ballet dance school, a Belgian named Marie van Goethem.
The sculpture is two-thirds life size and was originally sculpted in wax, an unusual choice of medium for the time. It is dressed in a real bodice, tutu and ballet slippers and has a wig of real hair. All but a hair ribbon and the tutu are covered in wax. The 28 bronze repetitions that appear in museums and galleries around the world today were cast after Degas’ death. NB:One copy of Le Petite Danseuse is currently owned by the creator and owner of Auto Trader, John Madejski. He stated that he bought the sculpture by accident. That copy was sold for £13,257,250 ($19,077,250) at Sotheby’s on February, 3rd 2009. Another casting failed to sell at a November 2011 auction at Christie’s.
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