''At the outset of my work at the Paris Opéra, in January 1990,'' recounts Roseman, "I had the wonderful opportunity to draw star dancer Charles Jude in L'Après-midi d'un Faune. Charles Jude interpreted the role of the Faun in 1976, the year the ballet entered the repertory of the Paris Opéra Ballet, and is acclaimed for his performances of the sensual Faun, as well as for other memorable balletic personages, including Petrouchka from the repertory of the Ballets Russes.''
On a summer afternoon, a faun, perched on a hillock, watches a gathering of seven nymphs. The Faun approaches, and they soon flee, save for one nymph who has disrobed to her undergarments to bathe in a stream. Lingering, she entices the Faun and intertwines her arms with his in a suggestive dance movement. The nymph then also departs, leaving her diaphanous scarf on the ground. The Faun retrieves the scarf and inhales its female scent. Carrying his trophy, the Faun, taking deliberate steps, ascends to his perch, smoothes out the material, and gently lowers himself onto the nymph's scarf. With a sudden bodily thrust upward, the Faun reaches a climax. As Debussy's music subsides, the Faun reposes and the curtain falls.
The erotic imagery of Roseman's drawing is emphasized by the vertical composition which places the male figure in the center of the page, with torso arched, arms raised, face turned upward, and mouth open. The taut stomach is drawn with a dark, calligraphic stroke of the pencil; strong lines define the strain of the dancer's back and his muscular buttocks, thighs and calves. His right leg is raised and bent at the knee as his outstretched left leg propels him forward.
1. Jean-Michel Nectoux, L'Après-midi d'un Faune, Mallarmé, Debussy, Nijinsky, (Paris: Les Dossiers du Musée D'Orsay, 1989), p. 18.
2. Doris Monteux, It's All in the Music, (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1965), p. 46.
3. On the friendship of Monteux and Roseman, see further the previous website page "Stanley Roseman and the Ballet Russes: Petrouchka.''
In his youth, Roseman made a drawing of the octogenarian Maestro. Granting the young artist's request to autograph his drawing,
Monteux included with his signature a personal dedication: "To Stanley, with my best friendship.''
4. Stanley Roseman - Dessins sur la Danse à l'Opéra de Paris - Drawings on the Dance at the Paris Opéra, (text in French and English),
(Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale de France, 1996), p. 12.