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Giovanna Baccelli

Photo credit: Tate

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The Italian dancer Giovanna Francesca Antonio Guiseppe Zanerini was born in Venice and took her mother's name, Baccelli, as her stage name. She was a principal ballerina in London at the King's Theatre, Haymarket, where she first appeared in 1774. She reached the peak of her acclaimed career during the 1780–1781 season when she appeared with Gaetan Vestris and his son Auguste in several important ballets devised by Noverre. As one reviewer (quoted in Whitley, p.188) noted, she appears in this portrait in the costume, make-up and pose from a ballet she danced that season, 'Les Amans Surpris': 'the artist was not only obliged to vivify and embellish; but, if he would be thought to copy the original, to lay on his colouring thickly. In this he has succeeded, for the face of this admirable dancer is evidently paint-painted'.

Tate Britain

London

Title

Giovanna Baccelli

Date

exhibited 1782

Medium

Oil on canvas

Measurements

H 226.7 x W 148.6 cm

Accession number

T02000

Acquisition method

Purchased with the assistance of the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1975

Work type

Painting

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Tate Britain

Millbank, London, Greater London SW1P 4RG England

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