1837 · London
Original lithograph on paper, with contemporary hand-coloring (10 1/4 x 14 1/4" to plate mark; 15 1/4 x 20 1/2" full sheet). Backed on stiff linen. Marginal tears (repaired). Beautifully framed.
Pauline Duvernay (1813-1894) studied at the ballet school of the Paris Opera and was the prize student of Auguste Vestris. By all reports she was a great beauty who at the time rivaled Marie Taglioni. The author William Makepeace Thackeray, who wrote biting criticism of Taglioni, could, quoting from Beaumont and Sitwell, "rhapsodize over Duvernay, whom he called 'a vision of loveliness, such as mortal eyes can't see nowadays.'" Thackeray also realized that Duvernay's dancing reflected a new style which came to be called "romantic" ballet when he exclaimed: "There has never been anything like it—never." Duvernay's greatest role was Florinda in The Devil on Two Sticks in which she triumphed at Drury Lane in London in 1836.
Beaumont, Cyril W. and Sacheverell Sitwell. The Romantic Ballet in Lithographs of the Time. London: Faber and Faber, 1938, no. 42 (pictured);
Chaffee, English, no. 46;
Guest, Ivor Forbes (1954);
Thackeray, William M., The Roundabout Papers (1836). (Inventory #: r983848)