Aexandre Benois (1870-1960) Stage design for the theater play ‘Idiot’ F. Dostoe- vsky, 1924

Lot 487
40 00060 000
Stage design for the theater play ‘Idiot’ F. Dostoevsky, 1924 Signed and dated in Latin ‘Alexandre Benois 1924’ (lower right) Pencil and watercolour on paper 28,5 x 44,5 cm Provenance: Private European Collection EXHIBITION and LITERATURE: R. Fulop-Miller, J. Gregor. The Russian Theatre. Its Character and History with especial reference to the revolutionary period. George G. Harrap & Co. LTD. London, Bombay, Sydney. Fig 67 RUSSES. Musée de Montmartre, Paris, 20 June-21 September 2003 Exhibition catalogue, ill. page 25 In the period 1923-1925, Alexander Benois collaborated with the ballet repertory of Ida Rubinstein. The F. Nozier and V. Beinstock interpretation of the play “Idiot” was staged at the Vaudeville Theater in Paris in 1925, with the sets design and direction of Alexander Benois. Ida Rubinstein played the role of Nastasya Filippovna. The artist has created an extensive sequence of watercolor sketches of costumes, based on iconographic materials from the late 1860s. He also designed detailed interior decorations of old St. Petersburg. Being involved in this project turned out to be especially difficult for A. Benois. He considered the play interpretation of F. Nozier to be superficial and unworthy of a great writer’s work, and he even regretted that intime he had not refused to participate in the staging. Later, Benois shared his memories of this project: «My efforts were apparently crowned with success: at least, the Russian audience, even the most demanding, was impressed by a truly Russian performance.» A. Benois designed for I.L. Rubinstein 15 ballets in total, which became the basis of her repertoire.