Tamara Karsavina as Columbine in 'Le Carnaval' by Mikhail Fokine

Painting
ca. 1918 (made)
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Seated female figure on a bench, 3/4 length facing left, wearing a white frilled dress with scalloped edges, decorated with touches of blue and pink with red cherries visible bottom left; her left hand is raised to her cheek, the right rests upturned in her lap. Signed lower left hand corner: Allinson.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Oil on millboard
Brief Description
Tamara Karsavina as Columbine in Mikhail Fokine's ballet 'Le Carnaval' by Adrian Allinson. Oil on millboard, ca.1918.
Physical Description
Seated female figure on a bench, 3/4 length facing left, wearing a white frilled dress with scalloped edges, decorated with touches of blue and pink with red cherries visible bottom left; her left hand is raised to her cheek, the right rests upturned in her lap. Signed lower left hand corner: Allinson.
Dimensions
  • Height: 643mm
  • Width: 523mm
Marks and Inscriptions
"ALLINSON" (Signature; Lower left hand corner; Handwriting; Oil colour)
Credit line
Cyril W Beaumont Bequest
Object history
The painting depicts Tamara Karsavina in her costume as Columbine in Mikhail Fokine's ballet Le Carnaval, first given by the Diaghilev Ballets Russes in 1910. The role of the heartless Columbine was one of Karsavina's most celebrated roles, described by Beaumont as 'a Dresden china figure, but she had very human failings. She was a heartless coquette who inspired admiration and then snubbed the fool who thought his affection would be returned.' The frothy, scallop-frilled costume set with a design of red cherries, was designed by Leon Bakst.

It is possible that Beaumont commissioned the portrait from Adrian Allinson around 1918, when Allinson was working on Carnaval illustrations for the Impressions of the Russian Ballet series, published by Beaumont.

The painting came to the Museum as part of the Cyril Beaumont Bequest.
Subjects depicted
Literary ReferenceCarnaval
Bibliographic References
  • Ashton, Geoffrey, Catalogue of Paintings at theTheatre Museum, London, edited by James Fowler, Victoria & Albert Museum in association with The Society for Theatre Research, London, 1992, cat. 77
  • The Diaghilev Exhibition Catalogue, College of Art, Lauriston Place, 1954no.461
  • Buckle, Richard (ed.) The Diaghilev exhibition from the Edinburgh Festival, 1954, London : Forbes House, 1954no.464
Collection
Accession Number
S.102-1986

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record createdJuly 18, 2001
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