Not currently on display at the V&A

Parade, Diaghilev Ballets Russes, 1917

Photographic Plate
1917 (photographed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Photographic negative glass plate of The Circus Managers [sic] originally performed by Zygmund Novak and George Oumansky, who introduced the Acrobats. One of a series of photographs by Harry Lachman taken backstage or in a workshop to show the costumes designed by Pablo Picasso for the Ballets Russes. Premiered in Paris in 1917 at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, it had a libretto by Jean Cocteau, music by Erik Satie, and choreography by Léonide Massine.

The horse combines Picasso’s fascination with African masks and ‘cheval jupon’ acts of Parisian circuses, the equivalent of the pantomime horse in Britain. The Fratellini Brothers at the Cirque Médrano, Paris, were performing such an act in 1917. The manager was described by Beaumont as ‘evidently in charge of an equestrian section of the troupe. He is suggested by a dummy negro faultlessly attired in evening dress and mounted on a horse of unusual equine intelligence.’ Initially the dummy could not be securely fixed and fell off so for Paris and Madrid in 1917 the horse performed alone a practice followed from 1973 in reconstructions of the ballet. However, evidence shows that the problem was solved for the 1919 London performances and the dummy was securely back in the saddle. The body of the horse is inspired by the traditional comic act while it is suggested that the head of Parade’s beast shared similarities with the ‘Goli and Baule helmet masks and Fang masks from the Cameroon as well as the ape masks of the Senufo tribe from the Sudan’.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Glass photographic negative
Brief Description
Glass negative by Harry Lachman showing the horse designed by Pablo Picasso in Parade facing right . Diaghilev Ballets Russes 1917
Physical Description
Glass negative by Lachmann showing the horse in the ballet Parade, facing right.
Object history
This is one of a collection of 27 glass negatives of the ballet <i>Parade</i>, taken by the photographer Lachmann. <i>Parade</i> was first staged by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, in 1917. The collection of 11 Silver prints and 26 glass plate negatives by Lachmann (then called Lachman) was purchased by the V&A for £5,200 as Lot 233 in the Sotheby action of Photographic Images and Related Material in London 7 May 1993.
Summary
Photographic negative glass plate of The Circus Managers [sic] originally performed by Zygmund Novak and George Oumansky, who introduced the Acrobats. One of a series of photographs by Harry Lachman taken backstage or in a workshop to show the costumes designed by Pablo Picasso for the Ballets Russes. Premiered in Paris in 1917 at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, it had a libretto by Jean Cocteau, music by Erik Satie, and choreography by Léonide Massine.



The horse combines Picasso’s fascination with African masks and ‘cheval jupon’ acts of Parisian circuses, the equivalent of the pantomime horse in Britain. The Fratellini Brothers at the Cirque Médrano, Paris, were performing such an act in 1917. The manager was described by Beaumont as ‘evidently in charge of an equestrian section of the troupe. He is suggested by a dummy negro faultlessly attired in evening dress and mounted on a horse of unusual equine intelligence.’ Initially the dummy could not be securely fixed and fell off so for Paris and Madrid in 1917 the horse performed alone a practice followed from 1973 in reconstructions of the ballet. However, evidence shows that the problem was solved for the 1919 London performances and the dummy was securely back in the saddle. The body of the horse is inspired by the traditional comic act while it is suggested that the head of Parade’s beast shared similarities with the ‘Goli and Baule helmet masks and Fang masks from the Cameroon as well as the ape masks of the Senufo tribe from the Sudan’.

Collection
Accession Number
S.5416-2009

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdFebruary 16, 2010
Record URL