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Print - Adele Dumilâtre and Henri Desplaces in The Corsair
  • Adele Dumilâtre and Henri Desplaces in The Corsair
    Bouvier, Jules, born 1800 - died 1867
  • Enlarge image

Adele Dumilâtre and Henri Desplaces in The Corsair

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (printed and published)

  • Date:

    1844 (printed and published)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Lithograph coloured by hand

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Lady Mary Evans

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

In the 18th century, men were the great dance stars, but ballet in the 1840s focused on the ballerina and the male dancer was reduced to a supporting role. He now had to stand behind the ballerina, helping to support her when she was standing on the tips of her toes and lifting and catching her to show how light, how feminine and insubstantial she was. To create that illusion of weightlessness, he had to show no sense of strain.
In showing the man standing to the side of the ballerina, the artist is guilty of artistic licence. To lift her this high, the male dancer would have had to stand behind his partner and he would hardly be standing so nonchalantly if he had been catching her from a jump. However, the artist wants to create the illusion, not the reality, of performance, so he shows the ballerina as feather-light and her partner showing no strain.

Physical description

In a drawing room setting, with sofa and vase of flowers, a ballerina is lifted by her partner. The man stands on his right leg with the left leg pointed to the back, his head turned to the viewer. He wears a short-sleeved, low-necked, skirted blue tunic trimmed with 'gold' and red, with full-length white undersleeves trimmed with gold; the black shoes have a small yellow V at centre front. He lifts the ballerina around her waist. Her hair is sleeked down into two long plaits tied with ribbons. Her right foot points to the floor and the left points to the side edge of the print; her arms are curved above her head. The low-necked white spotted 'gold' bodice is trimmed with 'gold' braids and has short sleeves with an open frill 'caught' with a brooch; around her waist is a broad red sash, the ends with a broad white band spotted 'gold' and with a 'gold' fringe. Over the pale-pink knee-length skirt is an open-fronted overskirt, spotted in 'gold' with fine vertical 'gold' stripes. Her hair is close to the head and ends in long, thin plaits and to the side is a small red and 'gold' pill-box hat trimmed with a crescent. The print area is cut across on the upper corners.

Place of Origin

London (printed and published)


1844 (printed and published)


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

Materials and Techniques

Lithograph coloured by hand

Marks and inscriptions

'Madelle A. Dumilâtre & Monsr Desplaces, / IN THE CORSAIR. / AT THE THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY LANE.'


Height: 469 mm, Width: 362 mm

Object history note

Albert's ballet The Corsair, with music by Nicholas Bochsa, was loosely based on Byron's poem of the same name and was first seen in London in 1837. Adele Dumilâtre and Henri Desplaces performed it at Drury Lane in 1844, when this souvenir print was produced.

Descriptive line

Adele Dumilâtre and Henri Desplaces in The Corsair. Lithograph coloured by hand after Bouvier, 1844.


Lithographic ink; Watercolour; Paper


Lithography; Hand colouring

Subjects depicted



Entertainment & Leisure; Prints


Theatre and Performance Collection

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