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Print - A Spanish Dance
  • A Spanish Dance
    Richardson, Thomas Miles the younger, RWS, born 1813 - died 1890
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A Spanish Dance

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (painted)

  • Date:

    1850 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Richardson, Thomas Miles the younger, RWS, born 1813 - died 1890 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Charcoal and watercolour

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dame Marie Rambert

  • Museum number:

    E.5080-1968

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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

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.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (painted)

Date

1850 (painted)

Artist/maker

Richardson, Thomas Miles the younger, RWS, born 1813 - died 1890 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Charcoal and watercolour

Marks and inscriptions

TMR. 1850 -
In watercolour

Dimensions

Height: 316 mm, Width: 250 mm

Object history note

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 note

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.

Descriptive line

A Spanish Dance. Drawing by Thomas Miles Richardson the younger, 1850.

Production Note

Thomas Miles Richardson jun.

Materials

Charcoal; Watercolour

Techniques

Drawing; Hand colouring

Subjects depicted

Dancers

Categories

Drawings; Entertainment & Leisure

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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