[Menut, Adolphe]. Les danseuses de l'Opéra; costumes des principaux ballets, dessinés par Alophe [pseud.] Paris, Les Modes Parisiennes [1850?]
Folio, fourteen hand colored plates. Original green wrappers lettered in gold. Spine chipped, some minor spots here and there, a very good copy.
First edition, a fine collection plates depicting famous dancers of the day. The first is Marie Taglioni (1804-84), a famous Italian ballerina of the Romantic ballet era, a central figure in the history of European dance. She made her debut in Vienna in 1822, but made her rise to fame as a dancer when her Italian father (and teacher) Filippo Taglioni created the ballet La Sylphide (1832) for her.
“She became one of the first women to dance on the extreme tips, or points, of the toes; she created a new style marked by floating leaps, such balanced poses as the arabesque, and a delicate, restrained use of the points.
The diaphanous dress she wore in La Sylphide, with its fitted bodice and airy, bell-like skirt, was the prototype of the tutu, the full, light skirt that, in various lengths, has remained the accepted uniform of the classical dancer for more than a century. Not only did she have Paris at her feet but audiences in London, Milan, Vienna, Berlin, and St. Petersburg hailed her as one of the greatest dancers ballet had ever produced.”