Images: Russian Circuses, Late 1800s and Early 1900s

Here is a collection of images from Russian circuses in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Female stunt-rider Olga Sur, late 1800s.

Olga Sur, Late 1800s












Male stunt-riders, late 1800s.

Male stunt-riders, Late 1800s









Female stunt-rider V.S. Bondarenko, early 1900s.

V.S. Bondarenko, Early 1900s












Male stunt-rider N. Ferroni, early 1900s.

N. Ferroni, Early 1900s












Traditional musical clowns, late 1800s.

Traditional Musical Clowns, Late 1800s












Traditional clowns (not marked in the captionas “musical” despite the presence and playing of musical instruments), early 1900s.

Traditional Clowns, 1900s












Two clowns evocative of Tilly and Polly, year unknown. The caption reads: “This was the only case in which a red-haired young man chose the clowning profession. Savelii Krein was the name of this pupil of the technical college of circus art. While he worked, he changed partners several times, also changing his costumes, props, and comic method. But his passion for classic clown buffoonery remained immutable. In this picture, Krein is on the right with his partner Gorin, who was also a pupil of the technical college of circus art.”

Two Russian Clowns, Year Unknown










Pavel Brykin, clown, early 1900s.

Pavel Brykin, Early 1900s











Lavrenty Lavrov, clown, early 1900s.

Lavrenty Lavrov, Early 1900s












Testing new clowning waters, year unknown. The caption reads: “Both new and experienced clowns turned to such classic pantomimes as “Boxing”, discovering every time new possibilities for the exposure of peculiarities of the artistic gift. As performed by Konstantin Musin, this little scene became one of the best in the gifted artist’s repertoire. In the photo is Musin (right) and his partner, Baidin.”

He Who Gets Boxed?, Year Unknown







A brief tutorial in the art of Russian clowning, year unknown. The caption reads: “Social themes were not the only themes subject to the clown’s denunciatory laughter. Following the tradition of the great folk jester Vitalii Lazarenko, the clown-satirist Andrei Ivanov continually included in his clowning repertoire the denunciation of our political adversaries.”

Clown Face Tutorial, Year Unknown












No Russian circus would be complete without an act on ice; year unknown. The caption reads: “A new thing. Of course, shows on ice couldn’t have worked out without bright actors. In order to create the appearance of unlucky hunters in the program ‘Winter Fantasy’, the artists had to master the profession of figure skating.”

Russian Circus on Ice, Year Unknown


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: