Painter Edgar Degas - Interview with Jean Luc Angrand

Painter Edgar Degas - Interview with Jean Luc Angrand

Painter Edgar Degas - Interview with Jean Luc Angrand

Cindy Dupuis (CD): Hello Jean Luc Angrand. Did Edgar Degas really produce a pedophilic artwork? That's what you wrote in your bestseller "Art Told Bluntly."

Jean Luc Angrand (JLA):

Yes, of course, it's the famous "Little Dancer Aged Fourteen." The Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, in its original wax version with natural accessories, was exhibited during the sixth exhibition of Impressionist painters in 1881, an event that took place on Boulevard des Capucines.

CD: You claim that the model for this statue was a young prostitute known to many Parisian artists? A young girl lost to prostitution?

JLA: Yes, historians have known this for a long time. The young dancer who served as the model for this sculpture was named Marie Van Goethem (or Van Guthen or Van Golethen).

Born on June 7, 1865, to a tailor father and laundress mother, both of Belgian nationality, living in the ninth district of Paris.

Marie and her two sisters Antoinette and Louise-Josèphe were enrolled by their mother in the dance class of the Paris Opera in 1878.

Marie and her sister Antoinette were expelled in May 1882 from the Paris Opera, probably for prostituting themselves there. At that time, the Paris Opera was often a high-end prostitution venue while also being a cultural hub.

Gentlemen from the bourgeoisie would come seeking expensive mistresses and occasional companions.

The well-known French phrase "having a dancer!" comes from this. Some young women, after being maintained, could marry their patrons, often provincial bourgeoisie because in Paris, they were recognized.

The Van Goethem sisters, having apparently not found a "good patron," continued to engage in prostitution outside the walls.

Marie Van Goethem was well-known in the small bourgeois and artistic circle; her reputation preceded her everywhere she went. So, she posed for Degas, who immortalized her by creating a dancer statue.

CD: You mentioned that the strange title of this work is linked to an anti-pedophile law of 1863?

JLA: That's correct, the strange title "Little Dancer Aged Fourteen" is simply explained by the anti-pedophile law of 1863.

CD: Can you explain to us what this law says that apparently concerned Edgar Degas?

JLA: This law threatens 5 to 20 years of hard labor for child rapists. It reinforced the law of 1832 for indecent assault on minors under eleven years; the age was raised to 13 years. Source: History of Pedophilia 19th - 21st Century, Anne-Claude Ambroise-Rendu, Fayard Editions.

You now understand the embarrassment caused by the presence of this statue at the exhibition; it was nothing more than an apology for pedophilia and illegal prostitution.

Degas, probably fearing the law of 1863, therefore indicated an age of fourteen in the title to avoid potential legal action.

The very hypocritical title "Little Dancer Aged Fourteen" is thus explained.

This clearly pedophilic work has been successively purchased by individuals and institutions unaware of its meaning.

Such is art.

CD: Thank you, Jean Luc Angrand, for sharing your knowledge.

JLA: I thank you, Cindy.


Retour au blog

Laisser un commentaire