Fuller had scientific leanings and constantly experimented with electrical lighting (which was then in its infancy), colored gels, slide projections, and other aspects of stage technology. She invented and patented special arrangements of mirrors and concocted chemical dyes for her draperies. Her interest in color and light paralleled the research of several artists of the period, notably the painter Seurat, famed for his Pointillist technique of creating a sense of shapes and light on canvas by applying extremely small dots of color rather than by painting lines. One of Fuller’s major inventions was under lighting, in which she stood on a pane of frosted glass illuminated from underneath. This was particularly effective in her Fire Dance (1895), performed to the music of Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries.” The dance caught the eye of artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who depicted it in a lithograph.
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