Bronze, based on the wax sculpture by Degas executed circa 1885. 400 mm; 15 3/4 inches (height). Inscribed "Degas" and with an unknown foundry mark "JE" on the top of the base.
Based on the wax model Degas executed circa 1885 and the subsequent bronzes cast in posthumous editions by the foundry Hébrard, Paris.
Illustrated in Rewald, Degas: Works in Sculpture, A Complete Catalogue, New York, 1944, pages 25 and 104-105, no. XLVII (plaster cast and another bronze version illustrated).
Dancers account for forty of the seventy-four sculptures that Degas modeled in wax and are known today (it is believed that the artist never intended these wax sculptures to be produced in bronze, and the casts were all undertaken only posthumously by the artist's estate as well as various other foundaries). Many of these relate to the technique of classical ballet as practiced in the French dance academies of the late 19th century. An exception, however, is La Danse Espagnole, which stands out among the rest for its spontaneous sense of abandon and sensuality, characteristics that clearly relate to its Spanish theme. Degas, like other 19th century French artists who preceeded him, notably Manet (see lots 29-34) was considerably interested in and adopted themes from Spanish art.