Ballet Rehearsal

Illustration © The Estate of John David Roberts. Reproduced with the permission of the William Roberts Society. Catalogue information based on the catalogue raisonné by David Cleall. For this and full details of the exhibitions cited, see the links below. Any auction prices quoted may not include all fees and taxes, such as VAT and Artist's Resale Right charges.

Ballet Rehearsal

Ballet Rehearsal (aka Ballet Dancers and Ballet Dancers Rehearsing) – study for Camargo Ballet backcloth, c.1931
Watercolour, pen and ink, 26.5 cm x 37.5 cm

The Camargo Society was set up in 1930 with the purpose of furthering the interests of English ballet. Principal dancers included Lydia Lopokova (married to Maynard Keynes), Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin. Operational only from 1930 to 1933, the society was innovative and influential. In addition to William Roberts, other artists who designed for it included Vanessa Bell, Edward Burra, Duncan Grant and Gwen Raverat. Design used in the Savoy Theatre, 1931 ('There was little pleasure and not much amusement to be had from the special drop-curtain painted by Mr. William Roberts and exposed to view during the performance of Constant Lambert's Romeo and Juliet Suite in the interval' – The Times, 8 June 1932).
PROVENANCE: Sotheby's 23 Apr. 1969 > Cork Street Gallery (£430) > ? (Dec. 1969) > Sotheby's 11 Dec. 2006 (£27,600)
EXHIBITION HISTORY: Lefevre Gallery (1) 1935

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