Degas modelled numerous figures in classical ballet poses but also many dancers in supposedly unguarded moments. He shows them pausing, stretching or adjusting their clothes. These less representative postures stand in striking contrast to the idealised depictions of human beings demanded by the art academy. Degas was interested in experimenting with the distribution of masses, balancing weights and arranging limbs in as many different ways as possible. The sculptures do not have a clear-cut face, instead, they invite the viewer to discover ever new and exciting perspectives. Only then can the motif be experienced in its entirety.
Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.
The provenance information is based on the sources researched at the time they were published digitally. However, this information can change at any time when new sources are discovered. Provenance research is therefore a continuous process and one that is updated at regular intervals.
Ideally, the provenance information documents an object’s origins from the time it was created until the date when it found its way into the collection. It contains the following details, provided they are known:
The successive ownership records are separated from each other by a semicolon.
Gaps in the record of a provenance are indicated by the placeholder “…”. Unsupported information is listed in square brackets.
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