[Ballet] The Garden.


Harold Byrne (1899 - 1966)

$A 1,150

In stock

S/N: PM-BYRN-008–228334

Full Title:

[Ballet] The Garden.




Harold Byrne (1899 - 1966)


In good condition.


Original watercolour signed lower right.

Image Size: 

x 200mm

Frame Size: 



Rare original signed watercolour by Harold Byrne (1899-1966) inspired by the Russian Ballet that visited Australia in  1936-37. 

Byrne’s fascination with capturing the fragmentary movements of ballerinas was reflected in the Fragonard Press publication, The Spirit of the Ballet (1937). The book contained ten illustrations by the artist from sketches and notes Byrne had made whilst watching the performances of Coonell. De Basil’s Monte Carlo Russian Ballet, which toured Australia in 1936-37. Released in a limited edition of 30 copies, the book was signed by Byrne and the author of the foreword, Leon Woizikowsky, who was the ballet master of the production.

The Ballets Russes is a generic name given to a succession of ballet companies which emerged in Europe after the demise of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1929. The three Ballets Russes companies were formed for touring to Australia between 1936 and 1940. For the first tour in 1936-37 it was called Colonel W. de Basil’s Montel Carlo Russian Ballet, for the second tour in 1938-39 it was called the Covent Garden Russian Ballet. for the third tour in 1939-40 it used three names, Colonel W. de Basil’s Covent Garden Ballet ; Colonel W. de Basil’s Ballet Company ; the Original Ballet Russe. The regisseurs or ballet masters were Leon Woizkowsky and Serge Grigorieff (tours 2-3) respectively.

Held in the following collections:
Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne 
National Gallery of Australia
Queensland Art Gallery 


Harold Byrne (1899–1966)

Byrne was printmaker, illustrator, and teacher.

An exhibition of his work was held at the Industrial Arts Society’s Gallery in Sydney in November 1937. The paintings and drawings in the exhibition demonstrated his preference for figure studies, featured in the exhibition were six aquatints of ballerinas, inspired by the Russian Ballet’s Australian tours in the 1930s.

Harold Byrne passed away in 1966. His art is represented in Australian collections including the Baillieu Library Print Collection of the University of Melbourne and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

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