Not currently on display at the V&A

Pauline Duvernay as Florinda in Le Diable Boîteux

Print
14/02/1837 (published)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Pauline Duvernay was an extremely popular dancer in London in the 1840s. She was a particular favourite of the young Princess Victoria (later Queen Victoria), an avid theatre-goer, who, in her art classes, would then draw the performers. The results are held in the Royal Archives, and include many sketches of Duvernay in different roles.
Duvernay is wearing the pink, frilled Spanish-style dress worn by Florinda, heroine of Jean Coralli's 1836 ballet Le Diable Boîteaux (The Devil on Two Sticks or The Lame Devil), to dance the Cachucha, which was the high-spot of the ballet. The Cachucha is a stylized Spanish dance, originally from Cuba; it covers a range of movements, sometimes gracefully calm, sometimes sprightly and sometimes impassioned hip swinging, while making great use of the castanets.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Lithograph coloured by hand
Brief Description
Pauline Duvernay as Florinda in Le Diable Boîteux (The Lame Devil). Lithograph coloured by hand after J F Lewis, 1837
Physical Description
The dancer stands on a terrace against a balustrade with foliage to either side, the body turned to her left and the head turned to her right. Her left hand is at the waist, her right arm is down and she holds castanets in her hand. Her hair is in mid-Victorian style, dressed with a rose at her right and a comb to her left. Her short-sleeved, calf-length, off the shoulder pink dress is trimmed with black lace and ribbons, the skirt having two deep frills of black lace. Her black ballet slippers are tied with ribbons. The print is cut across the corners. Beneath the image is the facsimile signature 'Pauline Duvernay'
Dimensions
  • Height: 533mm
  • Width: 376mm
Credit line
Bequeathed by Lady Mary Evans
Object history
The lithograph after a drawing by J F Lewis, shows Pauline Duvernay in the role of Florinda in Le Diable Boîteux (translated as The Devil on Two Sticks or The Lame Devil). It was published in 1837.

Duvernay is wearing the pink, frilled Spanish-style dress worn by Florinda, heroine of Jean Coralli's ballet, to dance the Cachucha, which was the high-spot of the ballet. The Cachucha is a stylized Spanish dance, originally from Cuba; it covers a range of movements, sometimes gracefully calm, sometimes sprightly and sometimes impassioned hip swinging, while making great use of the castanets.



Historical significance: The large souvenir prints of the Romantic ballet, issued in the 1830s and 1840s, are among the most evocative images of dance in the 19th century. Lithography, with its soft quality, enhanced by the delicate yet rich hand-colouring, was ideally suited to the subject - the ballerinas who dominated ballet in the mid-century and the romanticised settings in which they performed; style and subject were perfectly matched. The British lithographs are notable for capturing individual performers and their style, often clearly in a theatrical setting. They capture dance and its interpreters at one of its greatest periods
Production
Possibly John Frederick Lewis, famous for his animal and topographical subjects
Subject depicted
Summary
Pauline Duvernay was an extremely popular dancer in London in the 1840s. She was a particular favourite of the young Princess Victoria (later Queen Victoria), an avid theatre-goer, who, in her art classes, would then draw the performers. The results are held in the Royal Archives, and include many sketches of Duvernay in different roles.

Duvernay is wearing the pink, frilled Spanish-style dress worn by Florinda, heroine of Jean Coralli's 1836 ballet Le Diable Boîteaux (The Devil on Two Sticks or The Lame Devil), to dance the Cachucha, which was the high-spot of the ballet. The Cachucha is a stylized Spanish dance, originally from Cuba; it covers a range of movements, sometimes gracefully calm, sometimes sprightly and sometimes impassioned hip swinging, while making great use of the castanets.
Collection
Accession Number
S.2608-1986

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record createdAugust 19, 2004
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