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Le Spectre de la rose

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Europe (made)

  • Date:

    20th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (makers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted plaster

  • Credit Line:

    Cyril W Beaumont Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This figurine is modelled after the ballerina Tamara Karsavina (1885-1978) as the young girl and the dancer Vaslav Nijinsky (1889-1950) as the Spirit of the Rose in Mikhail Fokine's one-act ballet Le Spectre de la rose. In the ballet the young girl returns from a ball holding a rose given to her by a young man. When she falls asleep the Spirit of the Rose floods her dreams and she imagines herself dancing with him after he comes through her bedroom window. Karsavina's performance was celebrated for its lightness and waking-dream ethereality, and Nijinsky's for his stupendous elevation and androgynous sensuality.

The ballet was first performed at the Théâtre de Monte Carlo in 1911 with designs by Leon Bakst and brought to the Théâtre du Chatelet in Paris by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes later that year. In Russia Fokine had attempted to revolutionise the Imperial Ballet at the Maryinsky Theatre by creating short, unrelated ballets that could be grouped for an evening’s entertainment. The management of the Imperial Ballet did not support him, but the impresario Diaghilev did, and adopted the practice of programming shorter, separate works such as this.

Physical description

Painted plaster figure group, modelled in the round, of Nijinsky and Karsavina in Le Spectre de la rose. Karsavina is crouching at Nijinsky's feet. He has his arms above his head. Painted in a very dull gold colour. 'LE SPECTRE de la ROSE' is incised around the base.

Place of Origin

Europe (made)


20th century (made)


Unknown (makers)

Materials and Techniques

Painted plaster

Marks and inscriptions

Incised around the base

'Issued solely by / C.W. BEAUMONT & CO / 75, Charing Cross Road / WC '
On label attached to base, printed in pink


Height: 37.3 cm, Width: 17 cm maximum width - from her knees and hem to his left elbow, Circumference: 14.8 cm maximum of base

Descriptive line

Painted plaster figure group, Tamara Karsavina as the young girl and Vaslav Nijinsky as the Spirit of the Rose in Mikhail Fokine's one-act ballet Le Spectre de la rose, ca.1911


Plaster; Paint


Modelling (forming); Painting


Entertainment & Leisure; Sculpture; Dance


Theatre and Performance Collection

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