April 9, 2013 by mamie
Completed Date: 3/13/13
Description: For my series of paintings for AP Art, I’ve tried to include the most important ballets, so I couldn’t leave out The Firebird. What an exciting story! Stravinsky, the famous composer, takes on an original and unique style for the music, and the unusual plot of the ballet goes right along with that theme.
In the ballet, Prince Ivan goes on a major quest to win the love of Princess Tsarevna, but the evil sorcerer Kostcheï stands in his way. Throughout his journey, Ivan is helped along by a mysterious, magical bird-lady who is called “the Firebird” after coming upon her while hunting in the forest. Ivan who is stunned by her wild nature and beauty, captures the Firebird, and in order to escape, she offers him one of her magical feathers. During the end of Ivan and Tsarevna’s adventure, the Firebird continues to watch over the two lovers, and her magical feather ends up saving Ivan’s life. Kostcheï is defeated, and Ivan and Tsarevna live together in happiness.
In my painting, Ivan is enchanted by the sensual Firebird and grasps her body in a spur of curiosity and possibly lust. They both float in the midst of the magical feather to highlight the fantasy and mystery of the ballet. Meanwhile, the Firebird’s untamed eyes draw the prince in.
One reason that this particular ballet really stands out to me is that it is entirely based around a character who is not necessarily a princess or lover or “damsel in distress.” Strong and powerful (only captured by an accidental moment of letting down her guard), she helps Ivan, the man, and continues her life in the forest after the ballet ends. She never turns into a complete maiden or falls madly in love as in Swan Lake; she remains the Firebird…
***I hope everyone is having a great beginning of spring! I’m enjoying soaking up the sun and am hanging on tight as everything in school picks up the pace as the year draws to a close. I just finished my eighth concentration painting and only have 2 more pieces to go! Yay! 🙂