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odinthor

Ideas about What Production?

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I wonder if anyone has any ideas about what production these costume designs were evidently intended for (and who the artist/designer might be)...?

Dance-Costumes.jpg

Here is the artist's signature (which for the life of me I can't construe):

signature.jpg

I recently purchased these three gouaches.  The seller indicates that they came from Argentina, and guesses a date around 1940; another design expert, not knowing of the 1940 guess, thought "1950s."  (I seem to recall vaguely that Massine had a South American tour or two in that era.)

Here's a sharper image of one:

Dance-Costume3.jpg

Any thoughts would be warmly appreciated!

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Thanks!  I was quite charmed by them.

Here are close-ups of the other two figures, should they provide a clue about the production/artist:

Dance-Costume1.jpg

and

Dance-Costume2.jpg

The lady seems to be holding a length of rope.

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The face on the woman does seem 1950s ...  I think those are snakes in her hand...

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Still trying to pin down something about the production these delightful sketches presumably come from, or who the artist/designer was.  The female has something of a Medea vibe; but the story of Jason and Medea doesn't concern rival men, which would seem to be the implication of the spirit of the sketches.

Does anyone know someone who has done research on the Ballet scene in South America in approximately the 1950s?  (Of course, just because the pictures came from a collector in Argentina doesn't mean that the production was in Argentina or South America.)

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Possibly from the Ballets Russes du Colonel de Basil tour of S. America during WWII? There were a number of Greek-themed ballets he did of Fokine's if I'm remembering correctly. I know he(Fokine) had a Helen of Troy, which might work for these. Was there a Medusa

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Thanks for your thoughts!  Surely somewhere--book or research paper--there's an extended study of ballet in South America, with details of productions...?

 

The signature seems to be "R de los Heros".  I'd very much like to see more of his/her work.  Online searches have yielded nothing applicable, neither text nor images.  The theatrical costume design folks in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London are unfamiliar with this artist, yet clearly these were produced by a professional familiar with costume design.

 

The bird symbol on one gentleman's shield appears to be very close to an Incan symbol for a Condor; the designer appears to be drawing on that cultural background.  It could be that the production adapted a traditional Greco-Roman tale to make use of local color/national heritage.

 

These works have now been protectively reframed and are hanging proudly in my home, sparking appreciation, comment, and thought.  Someday the details of their origin will come to light!

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Katherine Sorley Walker's "De Basil's Ballet Russe" might be one place to start.

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