this Legat caricature of Bulgakov is a puzzle.
aruguably most famous role in this dancer's Maryinsky repertory, which he was part of from 1889-1909, was Rotbart in the Petipa/Ivanov SWAN LAKE of '95; Legat's caricature dates according to the NYPL cat. '02-05. there would seem, in major dictionaries in any case, to be no other prominent Bulgakov role during this period that might be identified with the costume in which Legat depicted him.
a photo of the dancer in Demidov's Russian monograph on SWAN LAKE shows a costume related to this one but hardly identical: it has an owl face on the front and a horned, hood of a headpiece and NO slithery tail; it does, however, have wings and taloned footwear.
of course from sketch to execution the details could well have changed but Legat shows the dancer presumably well after '95 as if minus a headpiece and wearing an actual costume, that is, not in 'costume sketch' mode.
here's the NYPL cat. entry for the print:
Legat, Nikolai Gustavovich, 1869-1937. Russkii balet v karikatura. [St. Petersburg, 1902-05, no. 12]
Caricature, colored collotype, by Nikolai and Sergei Legat.
Bulgakov, Aleksei Dmitrievich, 1872-1954.
Alexei Dmitrievich Bulgakov (b. St. Petersburg 1872 d. Moscow 1954) was a pupil of both Marius Petipa and Pavel Gerdt who gave notable performances at the Maryinsky appearing in the roles of Rothbart (as you mention), Drosselmeyer in Nutcracker, the Don in Don Quixote, Brahmin (La Bayadere), Claude Frollo in Esmeralda etc.
Bulgakov also appeared in Diaghilev’s first Paris season in Scheherazade, Egyptian Nights and later as Kaschei in The Firebird, as the Tsar Dodon in The Golden Cockerell appearing with the company from 1909 – 1914, his last role was in Massine’s Legend of Joseph.
He had become regisseur at the Bolshoi in Moscow from 1913 and appeared there as an artist until 1949 when he retired from performing aged 77.
I believe he taught at the Imperial Theatre School in Petersburg and certainly at the Bolshoi Theatre School from 1926 - 1929.
I have a good number of the Legat cartoons but have not seen the Bulgakov before and I am glad you posted it.
Do you think the Legat’s cartoon is not so much a depiction of a role, but instead, a commentary on Bulgakov being both an angel (and if that is a forked tongue as appears to be ) with a sting in the tail?