Costume for 'Coppelia' by Delibes: Automat

Accession Number

Costume for 'Coppelia' by Delibes: Automat

Georg Kirsta

Artist Nationality
Russian (culture or style)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
gouache heightened with silver on paper

12 1/8 in x 8 3/4 in (30.8 cm x 22.2 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Subject matter
Coppelia is a ballet by French composer Leo Delibes. It opened in Paris in May of 1870. It is a comical twist on E.T.A. Hoffman's "Der Sandmann" (1816). 

Georg Kirsta was a Russian painter and costume and set designer who worked for European theatres and ballet companies. After the Russian Revolution, Kirsta emigrated to Berlin, Germany and then to Vienna, Austria; in the late 1930s, Kirsta moved to London. Throughout Kirsta's career, he worked for Bronislava Nijinska, Hedy Pfundmayr, Grete Wiesenthal, Hilde Holger, and Helene Tels; Kirsta also worked with the Metropolitain Ballet and the London Festival Ballet. In 1951, Kirsta organized a new Original Ballet Russe after the death of his associate Wassily de Basil, the co-creator of Les Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo with George Balanchine. Kirsta had an integral role in the popularization of ballet across the world.

Physical Description
This drawing is a costume design on an off-white background. The costume has single sleeve, on the right, in the form of a simple grey cord that continues along the neck line of the costume; it is echoed by two grey cords, one at the top and one at the bottom of the narrow white flounce that serves as a skirt. The bodice is orange. 

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
Russian (culture or style)
ballets (performance events)
costume (mode of fashion)
costume designers
modern and contemporary art

2 Related Resources

Robots and Other Automata
(Part of 9 Learning Collections)
Modern set design
(Part of: Design)

& Author Notes

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