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Not currently on display at the V&A

Drawing

1911 (drawn)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Anna Pavlova was one of the most famous ballerinas of all time. With her large eyes, long neck, high cheekbones and dark hair, Pavlova's looks typified everyone's ideal of a classical ballerina. Born in St Petersburg in 1881, Pavlova was inspired to dance after seeing a production of the ballet The Sleeping Beauty. She trained at the Imperial Theatre School but by 1906 she was associated with the revolutionary ideas of Mikhail Fokine, who choreographed the famous Dying Swan for her.

Laura Knight was fascinated by the theatre, ballet and the circus, and was thrilled when she first saw Pavlova dance with her partner Michael Mordkin, probably in London during their 1910 tour. Even when she lived in Cornwall, Laura Knight spent months in London every year and loved watching the ballet at the Empire Theatre and the Palace Theatre. This drawing is undated and may have been executed at the Palace Theatre season in 1911 when Pavlova was partnered by Laurent Novikov, or later when Laura Knight sketched her for a book at her house in Hampstead .


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Drawn on paper
Brief Description
Portrait of the dancer Anna Pavlova (1881-1931) Pencil drawing by Laura Knight (1877-1970), probably drawn at the Palace Theatre 1911. Bequest of Vivian Ellis.
Physical Description
Pencil drawing on cartridge paper glued to a larger card support, showing a three-quarters view of the head and shoulders of Anna Pavlova, looking to her right, with slight working drawings above it of the outline of her head and shoulders and the profile of her nose and forehead. A protective sheet of paper has been glued to the mount on which is inscribed in red crayon: 'VERY VALUABLE IRREPLACABLE ORIGINAL' and the instructions in pencil: 'Please make a lino block if at all possible - otherwise a s/u h/t 100. Send block mounted to Weidenfeld & Nicholson 6 Cork Street AS SOON AS POSSIBLE By March 18th'
Dimensions
  • Print size height: 26cm
  • Print size width: 18.9cm
  • Total with mount height: 53.2cm
  • Total with mount width: 38.2cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • VERY VALUABLE IRREPLACABLE ORIGINAL
  • Please make a lino block if at all possible - otherwise a s/u h/t 100. Send block mounted to Weidenfeld & Nicholson 6 Cork Street AS SOON AS POSSIBLE By March 18th (Inscribed in red crayon on the protective piece of paper glued to the backing)
Credit line
Bequest of Vivian Ellis
Object history
This drawing was bequeathed by Beverley Nichols to Vivian Ellis and his sister Hermione Ellis. A copy, obviouisly an extract from his will, was glued to the backboard of the original frame reading: 'To Vivian Ellis and Miss Hermione Ellis, my portrait of Pavlova by Laura Knight and to the survivor of them on the death on one.' The backboard was also inscribed in 'biro: 'FROM BEVERLEY NICHOLS' and 'ANNA PAVLOVA BY LAURA KNIGHT'
Subject depicted
Summary
Anna Pavlova was one of the most famous ballerinas of all time. With her large eyes, long neck, high cheekbones and dark hair, Pavlova's looks typified everyone's ideal of a classical ballerina. Born in St Petersburg in 1881, Pavlova was inspired to dance after seeing a production of the ballet The Sleeping Beauty. She trained at the Imperial Theatre School but by 1906 she was associated with the revolutionary ideas of Mikhail Fokine, who choreographed the famous Dying Swan for her.



Laura Knight was fascinated by the theatre, ballet and the circus, and was thrilled when she first saw Pavlova dance with her partner Michael Mordkin, probably in London during their 1910 tour. Even when she lived in Cornwall, Laura Knight spent months in London every year and loved watching the ballet at the Empire Theatre and the Palace Theatre. This drawing is undated and may have been executed at the Palace Theatre season in 1911 when Pavlova was partnered by Laurent Novikov, or later when Laura Knight sketched her for a book at her house in Hampstead .
Bibliographic Reference
Oil Paint and Grease Paint by Dame Laura Knight, published Ivor Nicholson & Watson, 1936
Collection
Accession Number
S.193-2007

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record createdOctober 30, 2007
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