Edgar Degas, a major French painter of the second half of the 19th century, took up sculpture in the 1870s. During his lifetime, however, he displayed only one sculpture, The Fourteen-year-old Dancer (1880) in Paris in 1881. Degas kept his sculpture studies private; they are characterized by the artist’s curiosity about how to capture the human or animal body in dramatic motion, and they were cast in bronze only after his death. Thematically, they dealt with the same subjects as his paintings and drawings, i.e. ballet dancers, bathing women and horses. Degas studied the movements of Paris Opera dancers in many variations and modelled ballet positions at different stages.