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La Esmeralda
Lalauze, Adolphe, 1838-1906 (Etcher)
Lalauze, Adolphe, 1838-1906 (Artist)

Prints depicting dance

Theatrical dancers, singly or in pairs

Dates / Origin
Date Issued: 1880 - 1889 (Approximate)
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZFX Lala A Esm 1
Hugo, Victor, 1802-1885 -- Notre-Dame de Paris
Esmeralda (Fictitious character)
Statement of responsibility: Ad. Lalauze inv. ; Ad. Lalauze sc.
Numbering: Handwritten in pencil at lower left: Plate 89.
Title devised by cataloger.
Biographical/historical: This illustration appears to have been made for Hugo's play La Esmeralda rather than his novel Notre-Dame de Paris, and was probably published in more than one edition of Hugo's dramas. The Parisian periodical Revue illustrée, vol. 5, 1888, describes it in a review of an edition published by Emile Testard. After mentioning that it is the largest of five illustrations, "une grande eau-forte hors texte représentant la cour de Miracles," it continues, "La Esmeralda, vive et gracieuse, danse pendant que les truands font cercle autour d'elle. Ces planches, composées et gravées par M. Lalauze, forment un délicieux ensemble d'illustration qui fait grand honneur à l'habile aquafortiste si apprecié des amateurs."
Biographical/historical: Esmeralda, a beautiful and good-hearted Gypsy girl, was created by Victor Hugo as the charismatic central figure of his novel Notre-Dame de Paris, known in English as The hunchback of Notre Dame. She attracts the love or lust of several of the male characters, among them the hunchback Quasimodo, the sinister archdeacon Claude Frollo, the poet Pierre Gringoire, and the soldier Phoebus de Chateaupers. In 1836 Hugo wrote the libretto for Louise Bertin's opera La Esmeralda, presented at the Académie Royale de Musique in Paris, but it was not a success. Jules Perrot's ballet adaptation, also titled La Esmeralda, was staged at Her Majesty's Theatre in London in 1844. It gave the story a happy ending, and perhaps not coincidentally enjoyed much greater longevity. The ballet's first scene was set in the ironically named Cour de Miracles seen in this print, a dangerous district of Paris inhabited by the Truands, a group that included thieves, pickpockets, and other unsavory characters.
Biographical/historical: The French artist Adolphe Lalauze frequently illustrated stories and novels.
Physical Description
Extent: 1 print : etching, one color (sepia) ; 31 x 22 cm., plate mark 23 x 17 cm.
Portrayal of the Gypsy girl Esmeralda, the principal character in Victor Hugo's novel Notre-Dame de Paris (1831), dancing with a tambourine, her pet goat Djali behind her. At left, a harpist and a lutenist accompany her. She is watched by a crowd of men and women, some wearing beggars' rags. In the background are medieval buildings, their second stories overhanging the street; the structure at far right is adorned by projecting gargoyles.
Type of Resource
Still image
RLIN/OCLC: 825562874
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19759940
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 18c0b800-88fa-0134-7a59-00505686a51c
Rights Statement
The New York Public Library believes that this item is in the public domain under the laws of the United States, but did not make a determination as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. This item may not be in the public domain under the laws of other countries. Though not required, if you want to credit us as the source, please use the following statement, "From The New York Public Library," and provide a link back to the item on our Digital Collections site. Doing so helps us track how our collection is used and helps justify freely releasing even more content in the future.

Item timeline of events

  • 1838: Creator Born
  • 1880: Issued (Approximate)
  • 1906: Creator Died
  • 2019: Digitized
  • 2019: Found by you!
  • 2020

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "La Esmeralda" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1880 - 1889. http://digital.gallery.nypl.org/items/c2076190-8cbc-0134-2dbd-00505686a51c

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "La Esmeralda" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed October 21, 2019. http://digital.gallery.nypl.org/items/c2076190-8cbc-0134-2dbd-00505686a51c

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (1880 - 1889). La Esmeralda Retrieved from http://digital.gallery.nypl.org/items/c2076190-8cbc-0134-2dbd-00505686a51c

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url=http://digital.gallery.nypl.org/items/c2076190-8cbc-0134-2dbd-00505686a51c | title= (still image) La Esmeralda, (1880 - 1889) }} |author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=October 21, 2019 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lennox, and Tilden Foundation}}</ref>

La Esmeralda