Spectacular Art Deco bronze figurine of a Ballet Russes dancer in full, elaborate jewelled theatrical costume with pleated skirt decorated in gilding and green enamel colour, the surface finished with extraordinarily fine detail, the face and hands created from hand carved ivory. This impressive sculpture is raised on a variegated onyx base and signed D Chiparus.
Made in two sizes this model of the Vested Dancer is the smaller size and is rarely available on the market.
Provenance: From a Private Collection in Scotland, UK
Vested Dancer; Ballet Russes and Chiparus
The Vested Dancer and Demetre Chiparus’s bronze and ivory sculptures survey the lively worlds of dance, theatre and cinema that made Paris the capital of a new world in the 1910s and 1920s. The most famous example of the new movement-based media to storm Paris was the Ballet Russes, whose first seasons captivated Paris with folkloric firebirds, Central Asian princess warriors and Scheherazade’s tale of harem mayhem. Performances decked in the lubricious splendours of Léon Bakst’s extravagant costumes, as well as exotic solo and leggy ‘girls’ acts, caught the attention of Chiparus and the Paris ‘cognescenti’.
Chiparus’s sculptures capture the range of exotic splendours on view in Paris in those early 20th Century years, from compositions inspired by the performances of the Russian Ballet, to works that document those early erotic themes as they passed into motion pictures and the variety stage.
The tight fitting, lavishly ornamented costumes that Chiparus created for his sculptures reveal a stylistic debt to the stunning Orientalist fantasies of Leon Bakst, the Russian artist who dressed the star dancers of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes. Although Chiparus’s sculptures freeze their moment in time, movement inspired his work as epitomised with the beautifully dressed ‘Vested Dancer’ and ‘Ayouta’ sculptures which embody the sensuality and languor of the dancers he saw in Parisien venues and Dance Halls. Chiparus’s careful staging of the dancer’s poses seems a fitting tribute to the stage artists who inspired him.
The success of the sculptures by Chiparus may be measured in the attention his figures continue to command a century after they were first created. They bring to life a world newly enamoured with movement and the human form, in all its exotic variations, and epitomise the Art Deco era.
View our full collection of Art Deco sculptures here
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