Vladimir Tretchikoff's fascination with the artistry of Prima Ballerina, Alicia Markova.
It doesn’t take much to notice Vladimir Tretchikoffs’ fascination with movement and dance. Dance has been the core focus of some of his most famous artworks. ‘Ballerina’, ‘Hindu Dancer’, ‘Balinese Dancer’ and two renditions of ‘Dying Swan’ are among his most famous paintings.
When asked to name his most remarkable sitter, Tretchikoff would often hesitate before naming Alicia Markova. “During her 1949 tour of South Africa I saw her in her famous role of the ‘Dying Swan’ and ‘Giselle’. Her artistry fascinated me and for the first time I yearned to paint a ballerina…” – Tretchikoff by Howard Timmins.
Tretchikoffs’ first attempt at capturing a ballerina, Alicia Markova, was a fantasy portrait. Here the artist tried to paint Markova and a swan as a single being. One can assume that the reason for this is that the ballerina and her famous role (The Dying Swan) had become inseparable in the minds of ballet lovers.
The artist’s intention with his second attempt at ‘Dying Swan’ was to capture the elegance and expressiveness of this famous ballet as enacted by Alicia Markova. This painting took more than three years to complete and through the distribution of ‘Dying Swan’ Prints has become one of the artists more popular paintings. The work on this painting began in 1949 and finished in 1952.
To honour the artists’ fascination of movement and dance, The Tretchikoff Project has released a range of 4 luxurious yoga and fitness mats, ideal for Dancers, Yogis and Pilate’s experts. Three of them displaying the artworks of dancers (Dying Swan, Hindu Dancer and Balinese Dancer), while one offers aesthetic elegance by displaying the artwork and colour palette of ‘Lost Orchid’.
Tretchikoff's 1st attempt at 'Dying Swan'
Tretchikoff's 2nd attempt at 'Dying Swan' captures the grace and elegance of Markova's performance.