Item Lot Number:
Dame Laura Knight RA, RWS, RE, RWA, PSWA, DBE (1877-1970)
Study of a seated female figure
Signed, pencil and crayon, 27cm by 18.5cm
This is a charming study of a member of the corps de ballet leaning forward as she completes her make up - although it is not known for which ballet. Here the handling of the fabric and texture of the dress captures the anticipatory presence of the dancer as she assumes her role. Laura was fascinated by costume and design and after the ballet Russes left London in 1924, she was invited to participate in a smaller ballet company run by Stanislas Idzikowski, for whom she designed costumes for the ballet "Le Roses" (Wilcox, pp78-81). These costumes are in strong primary colours of rose and intense blue, illustrating the influence of the avant garde introduced by the Ballet Russes by Picasso and Bakst. The drawing is likely to be from this time because it shares qualities in the handling of the figure and fabric motifs that can be seen in Laura's dressing-room portraits of Idzikowski himself and his leading ballerina Vera Savina of 1924.
We are grateful to Dr Barbara Morden for her assistance in cataloguing lots 2034-2036
Slight discolouration of the paper with minor oxidisation particularly noticeable close to the mount. Minor foxing marks through out with slight surface dirt. Overall the condition is reasonable/good. Not examined out of the frame