Jul 19, 2016

Burlesque Show/Ladies of the Burlesque

Burlesque Show/Ladies of the Burlesque


Cecil Buller

(Canadian, 1886–1973)


Support: Chine collé on sheet on Arches wove paper

Image: 45.2 x 34.9 cm (17 13/16 x 13 3/4 in.); Secondary Support: 66.5 x 50.2 cm (26 3/16 x 19 3/4 in.)

Gift of Sean Murphy in memory of his parents, Cecil Buller and John Murphy 2013.413

Impression: 30


Did you know?

By the 1920s, burlesque shows were popular in American cities, featuring comedy acts, skits, songs, and a striptease.


Shown with simplified features and enhanced by the harsh spotlighting of the stage, the three scantily clad burlesque dancers appear more like sculptures than flesh and bone. Cecil Buller made the visual comparison explicit by placing a caryatid, or sculptural column in the form of a woman, behind the stage. Such architectural extravagances were typical of the grand theaters of the era.

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