Dame Laura Knight DBE RA RWS, British 1870-1977- Mme (Anna) Pavlova, 1920; pen and ink on paper, signed and dated, 33x18.5cm(ARR)
Dame Laura Knight DBE RA RWS,
Mme (Anna) Pavlova, 1920;
pen and ink on paper, signed and dated, 33x18.5cm
Provenance: with L R Nightingale, Norwich, according to the label attached to the reverse of the frame which states it came from the collection of Anna Pavlova in 1931 (the year of her death); collection of Ladywell Lodge, Sedgeford, Norfolk; private collection
Note: When Anna Pavlova, the famous ballet dancer, lived in Golders Green, Laura Knight was one of her frequent visitors. According to Knight's account in her autobiography 'Oil Paint and Grease Paint', she was first invited to Pavlova's home in order to complete drawings of her for a book, but Pavlova enjoyed her company so much that she kept inviting her back. Knight describes Pavlova as appearing every morning 'dressed in tights and a Grecian dress of pale pink heavy cr阷e de chine, cut on the cross out of a square, elastic holding it under the breasts and below the waist; thus the drapery fell in traditional Grecian folds, with zigzag edge, such as is often seen in ancient sculpture'. Perhaps this is the outfit she is wearing in the present work, or it may depict her in her costume for 'Autumn Bacchanal' which Knight saw her perform several times. Knight also praises Pavlova's heavily-lidded eyes which 'had a look not belonging to this world' and 'her exceptionally long, full throat, her little body, her tapering limbs' which inspired her teacher Enrico Cechetti to proclaim that 'no one has ever had the line of Pavlova, and no one ever will!'
in a reed frame with gilded slip, glazing