Item Lot Number:
Dame Laura Knight RA, RWS, RE, RWA, PSWA, DBE (1877-1970)
Study of a Russian Dancer
Signed in pencil, 27cm by 17.5cm
In her drawings and sketches at the Ballet Russes Laura aimed to capture the essence of dance in the graphic line - a technique transforming physical mass into `rhythm, repetition and line, accented beat and cross rhythm, as in music'.
In this drawing we see Nijinsky as the `golden' slave in Fokine's ballet Scheherazade. Designed by Leon Bakst, the ballet created a sensation when it was produced by the Ballets Russes in Paris 1910 and London 1912. With gold body paint and bedecked with jewels, Nijinsky commanded the stage with his performance - one of decadent sensuality, erotic and violent. Laura's drawing communicates both movement and stasis in the dancer's iconic pose suppressed energy and the dangerous grace of Nijinsky's performance.
We are grateful to Dr Barbara Morden for her assistance in cataloguing lots 2034-2036
Some slight surface rubbing and surface dirt with foxing particularly noticeable upper right. Slight discoloration to the paper, overall the condition is reasonable. Not examined out of the frame