NIJINSKY, VASLAV FOMICH. 1889-1950.
Signed albumen print, 230 x 173 mm, 1916, depicting the dancer in costume as the Golden Slave in Scheherazade, by Count Jean de Streleski, rubberstamped on the verso and identified in ink by the photographer, black paper residue of previous mount on verso, several small unobtrusive pin pricks not affecting the figure or signature.
INSCRIBED IN FRENCH: "Souvenir de W. Nijinsky, 1916." Nijinsky is arguably the greatest male dancer of all time. Born in Kiev of Polish parents, both he and his sister Bronislava Nijinska trained at the Imperial Ballet School before joining the Ballets Russes in 1909. His legendary collaboration with Sergei Diaghilev both on stage and in bed helped to define the company in its early years. One of his most famous roles was that of the Golden Slave in Michel Fokine's choreography for Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade (1910) in which the agile dancer stunned the audience with his animal magnetism and extraordinary leaps across the stage. Besides his celebrated partnerships with Anna Pavlova, Ida Rubenstein and his sister Nijinska, he was also the distinguished and controversial choreographer of such important productions as the original L'après-midi d'un faune (1912) and Le Sacre du Printemps (1913). When he married Romola de Pulszky in 1913, Diaghilev was furious and dismissed him. By age 29, the dancer was showing the signs of schizophrenia that would end his career and confine him to mental hospitals for the remaining years of his life.