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Little Dancer Aged Fourteen: The True Story Behind Degas's Masterpiece
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Camille Laurens Willard Wood
Little Dancer Aged Fourteen: The True Story Behind Degas's Masterpiece by Camille Laurens at Abbey's Bookshop,

Little Dancer Aged Fourteen: The True Story Behind Degas's Masterpiece

Camille Laurens Willard Wood


Random House

Art & Architecture;
Biography: arts & entertainment


176 pages

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She is famous throughout the world, but how many know her name? You can admire her figure in Washington, Paris, London, New York, Dresden, or Copenhagen, but where is she buried? We know only her age, fourteen, and the work that she did, already grueling work, at an age when children today are in school. In the 1880s, she danced as a little rat at the Paris Opera, and what is often a dream for young girls now wasn't a dream for her. She was fired after several years of hard work; the director had had enough of her repeated absences. She had been working another job, even two, because the few pennies the Opera paid weren't enough to keep her and her family fed. She was a model, posing for painters or sculptors--among them Edgar Degas.

Drawing on a wealth of historical material as well as her own love of ballet and personal experience of loss, Camille Laurens presents a compelling, compassionate portrait of Marie van Goethem and the world of the artists' models themselves, traditionally overlooked in the history of art.

By:   Camille Laurens
Translated by:   Willard Wood
Imprint:   Random House
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 210mm,  Width: 140mm, 
ISBN:   9781590519585
ISBN 10:   1590519582
Pages:   176
Publication Date:   November 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Camille Laurens is an award-winning French novelist and essayist. She received the Prix Femina, one of France's most prestigious literary prizes, in 2000 for Dans ces bras-lO, which was published in the United States as In His Arms in 2004. Her second novel to appear in English, Who You Think I Am (Other Press, 2017), is the basis for a forthcoming film starring Juliette Binoche. Laurens lives in Paris. Willard Wood is the winner of the 2002 Lewis Galantiore Award for Literary Translation and a 2000 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Translation. He lives in Connecticut.

One of Huffington Post's Fall 2018 Books We Can't Wait to Read The essence of late nineteenth-century art: Famous man paints nameless woman, her body and image becoming a mantle upon which his notoriety hangs. Who were these women? Typically, no one cares. So it's refreshing to see an author like Camille Laurens who does. --Huffington Post An evocative tribute to a model, a man, and a moment. Sensitive, human, and profound, this vivid recreation of the sights, sounds, and smells of the nineteenth-century art world is underpinned by solid research, and written in a style which is assured and decisive. --Catherine Hewitt, author of Renoir's Dancer: The Secret Life of Suzanne Valadon Little Dancer Aged Fourteen illuminates a slice of art history with ravishing acuity. Camille Laurens examines Marie van Goethem, the young model and dancer of Degas fame, in a tribute that melds research with quotations, intelligent inquiry, and the underside of the Paris Opera in the nineteenth century. In rhythmic translation, the face behind the sculpture puzzles and beguiles...More than considering the sculpture, the book is a fascinating tour through the past. --Foreword Reviews Laurens vividly sketches out a history of the abuses of child labor in Paris in the 1880s...insightful. --Kirkus Reviews [Laurens] is one hell of a writer. More than the facts, it's an era that she reconstructs, the harshness of which brings a lump to your throat. --Elle (France) This fascinating book is...a mirror in which we see our conception of art and of beauty. --Le Magazine Litt raire Camille Laurens [evokes], through the story of this model plucked from the gutter, a period in which art unsettled the hypocrisy of a society. --Le Figaro

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