Ulanova, Galina. (1909–1998)
Signed Photograph in Swan Lake
Signed photograph of the Bolshoi star, considered one of the greatest ballerinas of the twentieth century. She is shown in Swan Lake and has signed at the lower right. Slight corner creases; overall fine. 10 x 8 inches (25.5 x 20.5 cm). An ideal uninscribed example of an iconic image!
Ulanova was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where she studied under Agrippina Vaganova and her own mother, a ballerina of the Imperial Russian Ballet. Her career began at the Mariinsky Theatre in 1928, where the press compared her to Semyonova. In 1944, when her fame reached Joseph Stalin, he had her transferred to the Bolshoi Theatre, where she would be the prima ballerina assoluta for 16 years. The following year, she danced the title role in the world premiere of Sergei Prokofiev's Cinderella. Ulanova was a great actress as well as a dancer, and when she was finally allowed to tour abroad at the age of 46, enraptured British papers wrote that "Galina Ulanova in London knew the greatest triumph of any individual dancer since Anna Pavlova". Having retired from the stage at the age of 50, she coached many generations of the Russian dancers.