GEORGE KIRSTA (c.1900 – 1955): An original vintage costume design for the Premier Danseur (lead male dancer) in “Prelude”, 1943

George Kirsta (c.1900 – 1955): An original vintage costume design for the Premier Danseur (lead male dancer) in the production “Prelude”. The work is dated 1943.

The design is in ink, watercolour and pencil on paper, signed to bottom right corner. The reverse has an additional design in ink, inscribed “Front” and initialled and dated.

Dimensions 38 x 27.5cm


The Artist

George Kirsta (c.1900 – 1955) was a Ukrainian artist, who specialised in costume and set designer for the ballet.

Having fled the Russian Revolution in 1917, Kirsta worked initially in Berlin and subsequently in Vienna. By 1938 he had moved to London to work on ballet productions in the United Kingdom.

During his career Kirsta worked with some of the most important ballet dancers of the period including; Bronislava Nijinska and Dame Alicia Markova.

Kirsta was associated with the Original Ballet Russe (the successor to Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes) and tried to revive it in 1951, but due to lack of financial success it closed in the early 1952.

Costume and designs by George Kirsta and can be found in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. For more information see

The Production

Based on the inscription it is believed the design relates to a ballet based upon Franz Liszt’s symphonic poem ‘Les preludes’.

Further George Kirsta costume designs and those for the ballet are included in our store. For a similar item see RICHARD BERKELEY SUTCLIFFE (1918 – 2007): An original vintage costume design for male dancer in an unknown ballet production, circa 1940s

Dimensions: 38 x 27.5cm


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Condition Report: In overall excellent condition in accordance with age and use.

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