Sir Anton Dolin (1904-1983), born Patrick Healey-Kay in Slinfold, East Sussex. He was the first British internationally acclaimed Principle male dancer. He helped to spread the appeal of Ballet worldwide dancing with Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in the 1920s. Dolin's reputation was akin to that Rudolf Nureyev later enjoyed. Bronislava Nijinska said his dancing brought a virility and attack to the male classical dance world. Dolin later founded London Festival Ballet with Alicia Markova which eventually became the English National Ballet. His use of the Moniker Anton Dolin was a standard practice for the time as dancers with Russian names were taken more seriously by the critics. He had a noted affair with Diaghilev and a lifelong relationship with John Gilpin. Dolin was knighted in 1980.
The portrait was painted by a now forgotten Hungarian émigré artist Hedwig Esther Pillitz (1896-1987). Little is now known of her although she painted many portraits through the 20s and 30s of celebrities around the dance and world but had stopped painting by the 40s. The painting has a beautiful surface and is a fine and intimate portrait. 15 3/4" x 12" oil on board, inscribed on verso.