by Yousuf Karsh
bromide print, 1957
19 5/8 in. x 15 3/4 in. (498 mm x 400 mm)
Given by the photographer, Yousuf Karsh, 1991
Artistback to top
- Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002), Photographer. Artist associated with 156 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.
This portraitback to top
Fonteyn is shown here as Cinderella in Ashton's ballet, with music by Sergei Prokofiev and designs by Jean-Denis Malclès.
Linked publicationsback to top
- 100 Photographs, 2018, p. 85 Read entry
Prima ballerina assoluta of the Royal Ballet, Dame Margot Fonteyn (1919-91) joined the Vic-Wells Ballet in 1934 and made her debut as a snowflake in Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. She became lifelong muse of the choreographer Frederick Ashton, who created many roles for her, including the title roles in Daphnis and Chloë (1951), Sylvia (1952) and Ondine (1958). Her celebrated dance partnerships included most famously, Rudolf Nureyev, with whom she performed all over the world. Fonteyn is shown here as Cinderella in Ashton’s ballet. Although she is shown in traditional three-quarters profile and with the direct, artificial lighting favoured by Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002), the Armenian-born photographer has posed Fonteyn smiling, with arms raised, as if enacting a moment from the ballet. Consequently, the lines between Fonteyn’s own personality and her role as a dancer are blurred.
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 222
Events of 1957back to top
Current affairsHarold Macmillan takes over as Conservative prime minister, manoeuvring Eden out of power after his poor handling of the Suez Crisis the previous year.
The Wolfenden Report recommends that homosexuality should no longer be a criminal offence. It still took ten years, however, before any changes were made to the law on homosexuality with the Sexual Offences Act in 1967.