Ciniselli Circus Water Pantomime


This poster by an unknown artist is devoted to the Ciniselli Circus water pantomime (probably The Four Elements). Produced in Berlin by the firm Dinse & Eckert, the picture is a colored lithograph with the letters written in gold. The water pantomime was performed for the first time in Russia in 1892. In The Four Elements, water rushed down in a cascade and fountains gushed out in different places of the arena. Deer, elephants, and horses with riders swam in the arena lake. Pantomime, an art form in which the story is told through bodily movements and facial expressions rather than words, was an important part of 19th-century circus performances. The Ciniselli Circus (now the Bolshoi Saint Petersburg State Circus) was founded in 1877 by Italian-born Gaetano Ciniselli (1815−81). Housed in the first stone structure in Russia purpose-built for the circus, the Ciniselli was a popular entertainment of Saint Petersburg high society.

Last updated: July 14, 2014