Theatre Costume

1910 (made)
Theatre Costume thumbnail 1
Theatre Costume thumbnail 2
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Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Brief Description
Costume for a Princess in Fokine's ballet The Firebird, Diaghilev Ballet, 1910.
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.
Dimensions
  • Length shoulder to hem length: 110cm
  • Length from neck to longest point at wrist length: 84cm
  • Width around the waist circumference: 116cm
  • Length of slit at side length: 28cm
  • Width of appliqued decoration at hem width: 26cm
Literary ReferenceThe Firebird
Summary
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.
Collection
Accession Number
S.560-1989

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record createdJuly 1, 2009
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