This vintage real photo postcard features Russian ballerina, choreographer, and silent film star, Vera Karalli (1889-1972). She was born in Moscow. Her father was an entrepreneur and her mother was an actress. Karalli was active between 1914 and 1921. Karalli was a graduate of the Moscow Theatre School in 1906. She performed in the Ballets Russes company in 1909, and then again, in 1919 and 1920. She was a soloist with the Bolshoi Theater and after two years became a ballerina in 1915. She often danced with ballet star, Mikhail Mordkin. Karalli becan acting in 1914 and she became one of Russia’s most celebrated film actresses. From 1914 to 1919, Karalli appeared in about sixteen Russian silent films. One of these films was an adaptation of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”. Her last film was a German drama released in 1921. Karalli was a mistress of the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia. He was the cousin of Nicholas II. It was reported that she was a co-conspirator in the 1916 murder of Grigori Rasputin. After the October Revolution, she fled to the West. Between In the 1920’s she taught dance in Lithuania. Between 1930 and 1935 she was ballet mistress of the Romanian opera in Bucharest. She lived in Paris between 1938 and 1941. She later settled in Baden, Austria.  (SOLD)

Russian Army Soldiers in Kiev (1916)


Three enlisted men from the World War I Russian Army are pictured in this Cabinet card. The reverse of the card indicates that the photograph was taken in 1916 by the “Photo Studio of Y. S. Ivanchenko”. What exactly may have been on these soldiers minds.  In 1916 Russia, the Russian war effort was characterized by shortages, poor command, death, and desertion. The citizens were facing starvatio, inflation and a refugee problem. Soldiers and civilians blamed the incompetence of the Tsar and the government. By the end of the year Rasputin was killed and the Tsar was warned that the army would not support  him in event of revolution.

Published in: on January 4, 2009 at 12:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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