Duval - Svoboda-COPY

by Georges Barbier

1920 Paulette Duval and Vacelav Svoboda dance the Ballet in enchanting French costumes.

Barbier was a painter and illustrator whose first love was the theater in general and dance in particular. He designed both costumes and stage sets for the ballet and beginning in 1913, illustrated a number of books. He brightened the pages of many magazines with his lavish illustrations, but unfortunately, he designed few posters. All his poster work is first rate, but this one for the dance team of Duval and Svoboda--very possibly his first poster--is his finest work in this medium. The color and the opulence of the design, with its swirling flowers and birds and spotted costumes that seem almost like colorful tattoos, turns into an alluring and enchanting composition. Vaceslav Svoboda was born in Moscow and danced with the Bolshoi Ballet in addition to many concert tours and performances in over 50 Russian films. He was a principal dancer with Diaghelov and the Ballet Russes in Paris and London and danced with Ida Rubenstain in Paris as well. He is best known in the United States as a superlative instructor, having established a dance school in New York. He is teamed in this poster with Paulette Duval, of whom little is known.

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