Many are surprised to learn that no Degas bronzes were cast during his lifetime. Every bronze in every museum and elsewhere was cast after the artist died. This includes bronzes of Degas’ most famous sculpture, The Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen, all cast posthumously.
In 2001 an unknown sculpture of Degas’ Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen came to light at the Valsuani Foundry in Chevreuse, France. The sculpture was made with plaster materials (not bronze). This was followed in 2004 when 73 other unknown Degas’ sculptures in plaster were uncovered at Valsuani. Research on the plasters followed. Years later the research was presented to the living heirs of Edgar Degas, the Succession Degas. They concluded the Degas plasters are authentic. The Succession Degas then approved the casting of bronzes from the plasters to further enhance the artist’s legacy. Certificates for the bronzes were issued.
Since November 2009 eleven international museums have held exhibitions of the Degas bronzes cast by Valsuani from the plasters. They range from the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in Israel to the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. More exhibitions are planned.
Click on links below to access three documents. Inquires welcomed.
Q & A that pertains to Degas’ plasters and bronzes.
Case Study focusing on determining the authenticity of Degas’ plasters.
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