Costume Design for Rudolph Nureyev in Marguerite and Armand

Costume Design for Rudolph Nureyev in Marguerite and Armand



Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton was a fashion and portrait photographer, diarist, interior designer and stage and costume designer for the stage and screen. He was born in Hampstead and educated at Harrow and St John’s College, Cambridge although he left without a degree in 1925. He worked as a photographer for fashion magazines and became an extremely popular and well-connected society portraitist who also recorded the gathering of his friends among the Bright Young Things of the 20s and 30s. After the war Beaton started designing stage sets and costumes for London and Broadway. His most lauded achievement for the stage being the costume for Lerner and Loewe’s 1956 production of My Fair Lady.His first one-man show of drawings, photographs and stage designs was held in 1927. His six volumes of diaries, covering 1922-1974, are a fascinating record of artistic and society life in the 20th century. The passionate ballet Marguerite and Armand was created in 1963 by Sir Frederick Ashton specifically for Rudolf Nureyev and Dame Margot Fonteyn. It is danced to Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B Minor and based on Alexander Dumas’ novel La Dame aux Camelias. Choreographed specifically for Nureyev and Fonteyn, it was first performed by the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden on 12 March 1963. Over the years the couple danced the ballet many times; about 40 times at Covent Garden, then at La Scala in Milan, at the Paris Opera in 1966, in South and North America in 1975 and in London for the last time in 1977. Beaton’s main inspiration for the costumes was the 1937 film Camille, staring Greta Garbo.


Height 87.63 cm / 34 "
Width 60.96 cm / 24 "
Framed height 149.86 cm / 59 "
Framed width 120.65 cm / 47 "