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Theatre costume
  • Theatre costume
    Natalia Goncharova, born 1881 - died 1962
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Theatre costume

  • Date:

    1910 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Natalia Goncharova, born 1881 - died 1962 (designer)

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Costume for a Princess in The Firebird designed by Natalia Goncharova, for the Diaghilev Ballet, 1926.

This tunic was designed by the artist and theatre designer Natalia Goncharova (1881-1962) for Diaghilev and his company, the Ballets Russes. It is associated with the new designs she created for a re-staging of the company's famous work The Firebird in 1926 (originally designed by Alexandre Golovin in 1910). This was one of several ballets that Goncharova designed for the Ballets Russes, she and her husband, (the artist Michel Larionov) met Serge Diaghilev and Alexander Benois in Paris in 1914, who initially suggested that Goncharova should design Fokine's ballet Le Coq d'Or.
She continued to paint throughout her life but became best known for the designs she produced for theatre, opera and ballet.

The costume is associated with one of the thirteen Princesses who have been enchanted by the evil Kostcheï. They are first seen at night by Prince Ivan who soon falls passionately in love with one of them and, with the help of the Firebird, defeats Kostcheï and breaks the enchantment which has held them captive.

Physical description

A full length tunic of off-white wool with a bold abstract 'flame' motif painted in gold on the sleeves, at the centre front, and around the hem. This motif is outlined with a border of metallic gold braid. The long sleeves end in a cut out 'point' which covers the back of the hand but not the front.


1910 (made)


Natalia Goncharova, born 1881 - died 1962 (designer)


Length: 110 cm length shoulder to hem, Length: 84 cm length from neck to longest point at wrist, Circumference: 116 cm width around the waist, Length: 28 cm length of slit at side, Width: 26 cm width of appliqued decoration at hem

Descriptive line

Costume for a Princess in Fokine's ballet The Firebird, Diaghilev Ballet, 1910.


Wool; Gold metal braid




Entertainment & Leisure; Dance; Theatre costume


Theatre and Performance Collection

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