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Sir Frederick Ashton

© the artist's estate. Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Founder choreographer of The Royal Ballet. Encouraged by Marie Rambert, Ashton created his first ballet A Tragedy of Fashion in 1926. He choreographed several pieces for the Vic-Wells Ballet before joining the Company in 1935. As resident choreographer, he worked with the young Fonteyn, who became his life-long muse. Among his greatest ballets are Symphonic Variations (1946), Scènes de Ballet (1948), La Fille mal gardée (1960), The Dream (1964) and A Month in the Country (1976). Knighted in 1962, he became director of the Company the following year. He was made a Companion of Honour in 1970 and awarded the Order of Merit in 1977.
Painted during rehearsals for the sitter's 80th birthday gala at the Royal Opera House.

National Portrait Gallery, London





oil on canvas


H 96.4 x W 61 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Given by Robert Heindel, 1992

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National Portrait Gallery, London

St Martin’s Place, London, Greater London WC2H 0HE England

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