Swan Lake
2002 - 2004

These oil paintings, based on the ballet Swan Lake, are not illustrations, but images inspired by the story and the ballet.

odile's defeat

odette act I
available at Emily's studio
Calgary, Canada

odette's reflection/odile's reflection
available at Emily's studio
Calgary, Canada

odette's handmaidens
available at Emily's studio
Calgary, Canada


costume dept. I (odette)

costume dept. II (odile)

scenery I

scenery II

scenery III

scenery IV

scenery V

scenery VI

odette's garden / odile's garden

odette's garden / odile's garden II


Swan Lake: synopsis

First performed successfully in Russia in 1895, Swan Lake is a tragic love story. The female protagonist, Odette, has been transformed into a swan by a magician’s enchantment. She achieves her human form only between midnight and dawn - and the spell will only be broken by a commitment of true love. Prince Siegfried, out hunting on the eve of the celebration during which he must choose his bride, comes upon her and falls in love. Together they arrange for her to arrive at his party at midnight the next night so that they can be wed. However, the magician overhears their plans and substitutes his own daughter, Odile, enchanted to look like Odette. Odile arrives at Siegfried’s party before midnight and deceives him into marrying her  - as Odette, still in swan form, beats her wings helplessly against the window. On the stroke of midnight, Odette rushes in to the party, too late to prevent Siegfried’s marriage to Odile.

The ballet has three alternate endings: Odette dies from her broken heart and Siegfried casts himself into the lake in sorrow; or, Siegfried and Odette escape the magician and his daughter and run away together; or, the most poetic - Siegfried battles the magician and at last throws him into the lake, where he sinks like the black stone that is his heart.

All artwork on this site © Emily Bickell. Please do not distribute or reproduce images without permission.