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Print - Marie Guy Stephan dancing La Cracovienne in Une Soireé de Carnaval
  • Marie Guy Stephan dancing La Cracovienne in Une Soireé de Carnaval
    Bouvier, Jules, born 1800 - died 1867
  • Enlarge image

Marie Guy Stephan dancing La Cracovienne in Une Soireé de Carnaval

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    London (published)

  • Date:

    09/1842 (printed and published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bouvier, Jules, born 1800 - died 1867 (artist)
    Thomas McLean & Co (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Lithograph coloured by hand

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Lady Mary Evans

  • Museum number:

    S.2609-1986

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

National dances and settings were popular in the 1840s as audiences became increasingly aware of ‘abroad’ and exotic locations. Scotland, Spain, Hungary, Poland and the Balkans were all popular settings and some ballets were set as far afield as India, giving the opportunity for balleticized versions of national dances, like the Cachucha, mazurka, polka, polonaise, tarentella or Cracovienne.
The yellow flashes on the dancer's boot heels are metal trims or small spurs that 'chime' when the heels are clicked together, a characteristic movement in Polish folk dance and the Cracovienne in particular. The flowers on the floor are the floral tributes thrown by the ballerina's admirers.
Marie Guy-Stéphan was born in France in 1818 and danced in Paris and London where she was famous particularly for her Spanish dances. She later became prima ballerina in Madrid.

Physical description

A dancer stands in front of a Moorish archway, beyond which are girls, wearing knee-length, low-necked ballet dresses and men in 'period' costume. The solo dancer stands, arms folded, on her left foot, the right leg flexed with the toe resting on the ground and the heel against the left lower leg. On her head is a coronet of pink roses with long ribbons falling down her back. The neckline off-the shoulder bodice is trimmed with white fringe, under which are loops of green, white and pink ribbons; the below-the-knee pleated pink skirt is trimmed to the hem with bands of decorated and green ribbon; from the waist hangs a green and white striped apron with green fringe. On her feet are red heelless ankle boots trimmed in green with yellow flashings on the heel. On the floor are small sprays of pink roses. The print is cut across on the upper corners.

Place of Origin

London (published)

Date

09/1842 (printed and published)

Artist/maker

Bouvier, Jules, born 1800 - died 1867 (artist)
Thomas McLean & Co (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Lithograph coloured by hand

Marks and inscriptions

'Marie Guy Stephan (facsimile signature) / LA CRACOVIENNE / UNE SOIREE DE CARNAVAL. / DIVERTISSEMENT DE Monsr PERROT.'

Dimensions

Height: 520 mm, Width: 364 mm

Object history note

The print after Jules Bouvier shows Marie Guy Stephan dancing La Cracovienne in Une Soireé de Carnaval, a divertissement performed at Her Majesty's Theatre, London, in 1842.
Marie Guy-Stéphan was born in France in 1818 and danced in Paris and London where she was particularly famous for her Spanish dances. She later became prima ballerina in Madrid.

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

Descriptive line

Marie Guy Stephan dancing La Cracovienne in Une Soireé de Carnaval. Lithograph coloured by hand after Bouvier, 1842.

Materials

Lithographic ink; Watercolour; Paper

Techniques

Lithography; Hand colouring

Subjects depicted

Dancers

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Prints

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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