Examination of the radiograph (fig. 1) reveals that the metal armature inside this figure is not as substantial as that of another work by the same name (see cat. 27, fig. 2). Three heavy wires make up the central bundle rather than five, and two more wires of a thinner gauge are wrapped around the corks in the central core. A single wire, separate from the core, supports the head and appears cut off at the top where it would have exited to become an external armature. Five wires gently outline the shape of the head and project into the arms. The raised right arm must have presented difficulties, as several short pieces of wire are inserted at the shoulder join. Each leg has one main internal heavy-gauge iron wire; in the right leg the wire connects to the central support in the buttocks area and extends out to the toe; in the left, the main wire extends into the base. At many points the internal armatures are visible on the exterior. Most prominent among these is the galvanized-iron armature under the raised left arm on the underside of the left hand that helps define the cupped shape. Circular holes under the right thigh and a gash under the right calf indicate areas where wires that supported the extended leg were subsequently removed after Degas’s death.
The National Gallery’s two sculptures in this pose are very close in height, but in this figure Degas greatly exaggerated the extension of the right leg. In this figure also, not only is the right leg about 6 millimeters longer than the left; it is almost 8 millimeters longer than that of the figure in cat. 27.