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Fanny Elssler dancing the cracovienne
C. G. (Artist)

Jerome Robbins Dance Original Artwork and Designs

Drawings of unknown artists

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1839 (Questionable)
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZGA Anon Els 1
Elssler, Fanny, 1810-1884
Gypsy (Choreographic work : Mazilier)
Biographical/historical: La cracovienne, inspired by the Polish folk dance called the krakowiak, was performed as part of Joseph Mazilier's ballet La gipsy (music, François Benoist, Ambroise Thomas, Marco Aurelio Mariani; scenario, Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Mazilier; scenery, Humanité René Philastre and Charles Antoine Cambon; costumes, Paul Lormier), first presented at the Paris Opéra in 1839. It was intended to capitalize upon the success of the cachucha, another solo inspired by ethnic dance, which Elssler had performed to resounding acclaim in Jean Coralli's ballet Le diable boiteux in 1836.
Biographical/historical: Fanny Elssler was, along with Marie Taglioni, one of the twin stars of the Romantic ballet of the 1830s and 1840s. Her dancing exhibited a fiery sensuality, in contrast to Taglioni's chaste and otherworldly qualities. The cachucha and the cracovienne, ethnic-flavored solos in which she shone, reflected the Romantic era's taste for exotic locales, which ran concurrently with a longing for the supernatural world of sprites and sylphides.
Citation/reference: Guest, Ivor. Fanny Elssler. Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1970, illustration opposite p. 97.
Statement of responsibility: Initialed C.G. The artist's full name has not been identified.
Physical Description
Extent: 1 painting : watercolor, col. ; 29 x 22 cm.
Fanny Elssler performs a movement from her dance solo La cracovienne, saluting with her right hand as she extends her right leg in the position called à la seconde. Her costume as seen in this painting closely conforms to descriptions in contemporary reviews: a black military cap with white feather and cockade, two long plaits tied with red ribbons, a white tunic trimmed with buttons and braid, blue skirt, and scarlet boots with golden spurs, which reviewer Théophile Gautier likened to "a kind of castanets worn on the heels."
Type of Resource
Still image
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19319902
Photo Order: 52277
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 80718550-a3e0-0131-e807-58d385a7b928
Rights Statement
The New York Public Library believes that this item is in the public domain under the laws of the United States, but did not make a determination as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. This item may not be in the public domain under the laws of other countries. Though not required, if you want to credit us as the source, please use the following statement, "From The New York Public Library," and provide a link back to the item on our Digital Collections site. Doing so helps us track how our collection is used and helps justify freely releasing even more content in the future.

Item timeline of events

  • 1839: Created
  • 2016: Digitized
  • 2022: Found by you!
  • 2023

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Fanny Elssler dancing the cracovienne" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1839. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/81249910-a3e0-0131-7f53-58d385a7b928

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Fanny Elssler dancing the cracovienne" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 19, 2022. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/81249910-a3e0-0131-7f53-58d385a7b928

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (1839). Fanny Elssler dancing the cracovienne Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/81249910-a3e0-0131-7f53-58d385a7b928

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url=https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/81249910-a3e0-0131-7f53-58d385a7b928 | title= (still image) Fanny Elssler dancing the cracovienne, (1839)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=May 19, 2022 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Fanny Elssler dancing the cracovienne