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Title

Petrouchka Dead (or A Bullet in the Ballet)

2004


Artist

Robert Rooney

Australia

24 Sep 1937 -


About

“My Balletomania paintings have their origins in an early interest in the collaborations between twentieth-century artist, composers, writers and choreographers that were a characteristic of Serge Diaghilev’s ‘Ballets Russes’, and Rolf de Maré’s rival company, Ballet Suédois.

The notion of ballet as a total art continued in post-war Paris with Roland Petit, whose ballets (for the short-lived Ballets des Champs-Élysées and Ballet de Paris, which he co-founded in 1948) also interested me greatly in the 1950s.

Although music came first, the works of composers such as Stravinsky, Erik Satie and members of ‘Le Six’ (especially Darius Milhaud) soon lead me to Picasso and other modern painters with whom they collaborated.

Stravinsky’s ‘Petrouchka’ is a particular favourite, both on record and in Melbourne performances by the Borovansky Ballet (c.1951-52). ‘Petrouchka Dead (or A Bullet in the Ballet)’ is another example of the past revisited, the painting’s subtitle being a reference to Caryl Brahms and S.J. Simon’s ‘A Bullet in the Ballet’ (1937), an amusing mystery novel in which a performance of ‘Petrouchka’ by a Russian company, obviously based on the ‘Ballets Russes’, ends in murder.”

Robert Rooney, ‘notes on BALLETOMANIA’, Linda Michael (ed), ‘21st Century Modern, 2006 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art’, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 2006, p. 60


Details


Date

2004


Media category

Painting


Materials used

synthetic polymer paint on canvas


Dimensions

128.0 x 182.0 cm


Signature & date

Signed and dated verso, "Robert Rooney/ .../ .../ Sep 2004/ .../ ...".


Credit

Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2006


Location

Not on display


Accession number

282.2006


Artist information

Robert Rooney

Works in the collection

10


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history


Referenced in 1 publication

Bibliography


Robert Rooney, 21st Century Modern, 2006 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, 'notes on BALLETOMANIA', pg.60, 2006, 60.