Hoop Dancer (La Joueuse de Cerceau)
Stamped Siot Decauville Foundry
9 inches (23 cm) without base; 13 inches (33 cm) with base
Dated to 1891, Gérôme created this figure based on his interpretation of the Tanagra figures. These mold-cast Greek terracotta figures dating to around the fourth to the first centuries BCE were discovered in the latter half of the nineteenth century in the town of Tanagra and provided inspiration for many artists. Gérôme also produced a life size seated female nude sculpture titled Tangara, which holds the Hoop Dancer figure in her hand, now in the collection of the Musée d'Orsay.
The Hoop Dancer was cast in marble, bronze, and plaster. Of the marble version, Gérôme noted "I have also lately finished a little figure in marble, half life size, of a dancing girl; it is like the one Tanagra holds in her hand, only this is more seriously made, and the nude portions, as well as the draperies, have been studied with care." This marble figure is portrayed in Gérôme's oil on canvas titled The Artist Sculpting Tanagra in the collection of the Dahesh Museum of Art. Another example in bronze is held in the collection of the Musée Georges-Garrett in Vesoul, France, and plaster versions, likely made from the bronze mold, were thought to have been made as gifts for Gérôme's friends.
New York, Dahesh Museum of Art, Gérôme and the Classical Imagination, 1997, pp. 2, 94, no. 41-1, illustrated
Gerald M. Ackerman, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Paris, 2000, p. 388, no. S 21B, illustrated
JEAN-LÉON GÉRÔME, The Artist Sculpting Tanagra, DAHESH MUSEUM OF ART