- Museum number
- Object: A Stranger at Sparta
Design in a circle inset in a square. A young dancer, Auguste Vestris (Vestr' Allard) in the centre of the stage. He is poised on the right toe, his left leg extended horizontally, his arms held out, a wide-brimmed hat, trimmed with ribbon and flowers in his right hand; his head thrown back rests on his right shoulder and he is smiling. Trees form the background, and on the right of the stage are flats, also of trees. In each of the lower angles of the square is a goose, standing on one leg. Beneath the design is engraved:
"A Stranger at Sparta standing long upon one Leg, said to a Lacedaemonian, I do not believe you can do as much; 'True (said he) but every Goose can'. See Plutarch's Laconic Apothegms Vol. 1. Page 406." After Nathaniel Dance; third state. 1781
Etching and aquatint, printed in sepia
- Production date
Height: 369 millimetres
Width: 331 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', V, 1935)
A companion print to BMSat 5906.
In spite of the satiric intention the dancer has much grace and charm. A satire on the benefit of the younger Vestris, see BMSat 5903, 5906. Attributed to Nathaniel Dance by Angelo, who says it was "exhibited in all the print-shops and very much like". 'Reminiscences', 1904, ii. 348. Calabi, 'Bartolozzi', 1928, BMSat 2235 (attributed to George Dance). Reproduced, Paston, Pl. lxx.
See Whitley 1700-1799, 1928, II p.164: "according to the journals of the day, Dance was paid fifty guineas for his drawing, which Vestris resented as 'a libellous falsehood'". The 'Public Advertiser' of 22 May 1781 states that this print was from his design, and was almost his last work before his retirement.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1996 Aug-Dec, London, British Library, 'Theatrical Entertainments'
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number