Il Balletto Romantico: Treasures from the Sowell Collection

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By Madison U. Sowell, Debra H. Sowell, Francesca Falcone and Patrizia Veroli

Once upon a time, a young couple were honeymooning in Florence when their attention was caught by an attractive, 19th-century print of a Romantic ballerina. They purchased it, and decades later the Sowells are custodians of one of America’s finest private collections of Romantic ballet prints and ephemera.

This beautiful publication, showcasing highlights from their collection, was published in Italy by L’Epos. However, no familiarity with Italian is required to savour the superb colour illustrations, many of them reproduced as full-page spreads. There are portraits of celebrated ballerinas such as Marie Taglioni and Fanny Cerrito, photos of ballet figurines, costume sketches, and a host of rare prints and drawings. There are even some quirky illustrations associated with the early American ballet spectacular, Black Crook.

Il Balletto Romantico is highly recommended as a publication for scholars and would make a stunning gift for any dedicated balletomane. Limited copies are still available for US$60.00 + postage from the authors. If you would like to order a copy, please contact Vintage Pointe and we will forward your enquiry.

L’Epos, 2007. Paperback, 244 pages. Text and introductory essays in Italian. Full-colour illustrations throughout.