Legat Caricatures

Jenkins describes Moreland’s apartment: “The walls were hung with framed caricatures of dancers in Diaghilev’s early ballets, coloured pictures drawn by the Legat brothers, found by Moreland in a portfolio outside a second-hand book shop; Pavlova, Karsavina; Folkine; others, too whom I have forgotten.” [CCR 11/5]

The Legat brothers, ballet master Νikolaĭ Gustavovich Legat ( 1869-1937) and dancer Sergieĭ Gustavovich Legat (1875-1905) , were with the Marinsky ballet in St. Petersburg when they published Russian Ballet in Caricatures, a set of 93 drawings, about 1903.

Anna Pavlova caricature by Nicolai and Sergei Legat, 1902-1905

Tamara Karsavina Caricature by Nikolai and Sergei Legat, 1902-1905

Tamara Karsavina
Caricature by Nikolai and Sergei Legat, 1902-1905


Fokine Legat

Michael Fokine Caricature by Nikolai and Sergei Legat, 1902-1905

We recall two earlier references to Russian ballet in Dance:  Lady Molly’s uninterest in Russian Ballet [ALM 158] referred to the  Ballets Russes founded by Serge Diaghilev in 1909. Nicolai Legat joined Diaghilev in Paris. The music, costumes, choreography, and stars of the Ballets Russes were another facet of the contribution of the Paris School to Modernism. Fokine not only danced but was the first of many famous choreographers encouraged by Diaghilev. Pavlova and Karsavina were among the best known ballerinas. Today, Pavlova’s name is enshrined in a dessert of meringue topped with fruit that was developed in New Zealand or Australia after she starred there with the Ballets Russes in 1926.  The white meringue was meant to evoke the skirt of Pavlova’s tutu and the topping, a melange of brightly colored fruit, was worthy of a Ballets Russes costume by Bakst, whom Jenkins imagined as clothier of Victor Emanuel II, when he saw the king’s portrait hanging in Foppa’s club [AW 152/145].

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