Originally modelled in plastiline clay in the mid-1890s, this version cast in bronze after 1918. Height 42cm
Best known for his impressionist painting, sculpture was for Degas mainly a private activity. He thought of his sculptures like sketches or drawings, as a way of developing a composition.
‘La Masseuse’ is Degas’ only two-figure sculpture. The masseuse massages the thigh of a naked woman, who holds her buttock in relief or pain. The emphasis of ‘La Masseuse’ on the effects of physical activity on bare female flesh highlights the artists dedication to depicting human, and in particular female, endeavour.
Information courtesy of the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (link).