Degas and the Petit Rat Marie van Goethem.

Paris. 1881. The artist:  Edgar Degas.   The sculpture: La petite danseuse de 14 ans ( the 14 years old little dancer).  outraged art critics. the young ballerina was depicted as ” a flower of precocious depravity with a face marked by the hateful promise of every vice”.  Degas did not portrait his model,  Marie van Goethem. through his sculpture, the artist was  bearing witness to the  society of his day and what it did to children like Marie.  Marie did not become a professional dancer,  she ended up as a prostitute in a sordid part of the city. i made a series of paintings to honour  Degas and Marie :  The petit rat, in a better world,  protected by Pierrot,  the character of the Commedia dell’arte.  Pierrot is the symbol of the ultimate goodness to be found in the performing arts.

degas petite danseuse142013aprilpetitrarpierrotcopy original painting by L. chan all rights reserved.

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