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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Anna Pavlova, 1926

Harold Cazneaux

gelatin silver photograph on paper (image/sheet: 20.4 cm x 15.5 cm)

Anna Pavlova (1881–1931), ballerina, was initially believed to be too tall and frail to succeed at ballet, but nevertheless graduated from the Imperial Theatre School, St. Petersburg, in 1899. In 1906 she was promoted to prima ballerina. Although she performed in the opening season of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes in Paris in 1909, she did not join the avant-garde outfit, instead, in 1911, forming her own company, which toured until her death in 1931. Pavlova and her company of about forty dancers made two tours to Australia: in 1926 and 1929. During her first tour she visited Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide, presenting about fifteen ballets and thirty-nine divertissements (short pieces, such as ‘The Dragonfly’ and ‘The Swan’, for which she was particularly renowned). On the first tour, Robert Helpmann was one of her Australian supernumeraries. On her second tour, she visited regional Queensland and Brisbane before progressing to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. She kept a small menagerie, which included swans, at her home in Hampstead, London.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2015

Accession number: 2015.76

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Harold Cazneaux (age 48 in 1926)

Anna M. Pavlova (age 45 in 1926)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux
Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux
Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux
Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux

Moving in creative circles

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2008

Harold Cazneaux's portraits of influential Sydneysiders included Margaret Preston and Ethel Turner, both important figures in the development of ideas about Australian identity and culture.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.