Princess Serafina Astafieva
Bronze bust circa 1927; Monogrammed EH and marked by the foundry, 'F Barbedienne, Paris'.
7 x 3 inches
Princess Serafina Astafiev (1876-1934), the sitter, posed Nefertiti-like in this little bronze of 1927, was a Russian dancer with the Imperial Ballet and Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes from 1909 to 1911. In 1916 she opened a dance school in London, at the Pheasantry in Chelsea, that established a direct link between the Diaghilev ballet and British dancers in the early 20th century. One of her pupils was the young Dame Alicia Markova, who went on to join the Ballets Russes in 1924 and had her lessons sponsored by Emmy Haskell and her son Arnold, the author of Balletomania (who married Markova’s younger sister Vivienne).