A Spanish Dance thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

A Spanish Dance

Print
1850 (painted)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

The man in this print wears a recognisably Spanish costume, with his toreador hat, bolero jacket and knee breeches, but the woman's costume is closer to everyday peasant dress. Most prints of Spanish dance show it in a theatrical context and images of the original peasant dances are comparatively rare.
The tight-fitting Spanish flamenco dress with the trained and flounced skirt, which is now synonymous with Spanish dance, developed in the late 19th century from the working clothes of the Spanish peasants

Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleA Spanish Dance
Materials and techniques
Charcoal and watercolour
Brief description
A Spanish Dance. Drawing by Thomas Miles Richardson the younger, 1850.
Physical description
Spanish dancers holding castanets, the man to the left, his body in profile, his head turned looking at his partner over his left raised arm; his right arm is stretched behind. He wears a black Spanish toreador hat, yellow bolero trimmed with white, pink shirt, red cummerbund and white tight breeches with a double pale blue stripe on outer leg. The woman faces the viewer, mirroring her partner's pose with her right leg forward, her right arm across the body at shoulder height, her left held out behind and head turned to her right looking at her partner. She wears a high mantilla, a bright blue bodice with white puffed sleeves, a pale red striped skirt to the knee under which is a calf-length, pink-washed-blue skirt.
Dimensions
  • Height: 316mm
  • Width: 250mm
Marks and inscriptions
TMR. 1850 - (In watercolour)
Credit line
Given by Dame Marie Rambert
Object history
The drawing is one of the few originals in the collection of dance prints amassed by Marie Rambert and her husband, Ashley Dukes in the first half of the 20th century. Eventually numbering 145 items, some of which had belonged to the ballerina Anna Pavlova, it was one of the first and most important specialist collections in private hands.
Rambert bought the first print as a wedding present but could not bear to give it away. As the collection grew, it was displayed in the bar of the Mercury Theatre, the headquarters of Ballet Rambert, but in 1968, Rambert gave the collection to the Victoria and Albert Museum; seven duplicates were returned to Rambert, but these are catalogued in Ivor Guest's A Gallery of Romantic Ballet, which was published before the collection came to the V&A. Although often referred to as a collection of Romantic Ballet prints, there are also important engravings of 17th and 18th century performers, as well as lithographs from the later 19th century, by which time the great days of the ballet in London and Paris were over.
Historical context
The man in this print wears a recognisably Spanish costume, with his toreador hat, bolero jacket and knee breeches, but the woman's costume is closer to everyday peasant dress. Most prints of Spanish dance show it in a theatrical context and images of the original peasant dances are comparatively rare.
Production
Thomas Miles Richardson jun.
Subject depicted
Summary
The man in this print wears a recognisably Spanish costume, with his toreador hat, bolero jacket and knee breeches, but the woman's costume is closer to everyday peasant dress. Most prints of Spanish dance show it in a theatrical context and images of the original peasant dances are comparatively rare.
The tight-fitting Spanish flamenco dress with the trained and flounced skirt, which is now synonymous with Spanish dance, developed in the late 19th century from the working clothes of the Spanish peasants
Collection
Accession number
E.5080-1968

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Record createdSeptember 14, 2004
Record URL
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