TAMARA KARSAVINA AND VASLAV NIJINSKY IN 'LE SPECTRE DE LA ROSE'
signed Maurice Charpentier-Mio and numbered 8/10; incised with the monogram on the wood base
bronze, dark brown patina, on a wood base
height: 30.5cm., 12in. overall
Conceived in 1913; cast by Eugene Rudier in Paris probably in 1920.
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Overall the condition is very good with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age, including some dust in the crevices. There is minor rubbing to the patina at the high points. A few very minor areas of greening, notably at Nijinsky's proper right hip, and to the underside of the skirt.
The bronze is attached to the wood base with several metal pins; these have rubbed slightly against the bronze. There is minor wear to the wood base, including a few nicks.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
M le Comte Ed. de Fels, Paris, 1922
Martine Kahane, Nijinsky 1889-1950, exh. cat., Paris, Musee d'Orsay 2000-2001, p.147
Vienna, Lower Belvedere, Silver Age, Russian Art in Vienna around 1900, 28 June to 28 September 2014 (not listed in catalogue)
This balletic bronze represents the legendary dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky, and the ballerina Tamara Karsavina, in the avant-garde piece Le Spectre de la Rose (The Spirit of the Rose). Choreographed by Michel Fokine for the Ballets Russes in 1911, the ballet was conceived by the writer Jean-Louis Vaudoyer, based on a verse by Théophile Gautier, and set to music by Carl Maria von Weber. In a short, dream-like sequence, a young girl who falls asleep after a ball and imagines a romantic encounter with a personification of the rose she has dropped. The piece won both acclaim and notoriety for Nijinsky's spectacular leap through a window at the ballet's conclusion, dressed in his magnificent rose petal costume.
Charpentier-Mio brilliantly captures the sense of romance and movement in the girl's imagined dance with her rose. The present bronze is listed in the Nijinsky exhibition catalogue entry (op. cit.) on the cast of the same model in the collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, which provides a dating for each of the numbered casts.
Danny Katz has a passion for dance, with a particular interest in Nijinsky and the early 20th-century Russian Ballet. In 2009 the Gallery held an exhibition dedicated to Serge Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes.