NATALIA GONCHAROVA (1881-1962) Stage design for the opera-ballet “Le Coq d’Or” of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
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signed ‘N. Gontcharowa’(along the upper edge of the central panel) watercolour, gouache, and pencil on cardboard 54 x 18.5 cm (each) 1914 Provenance: Anonymous sale; Sotheby’s, London, 5 April 1990, lot 162; with Thos. Agnew and Sons Ltd., London, nos. 32153-5 (labels on the reverse of the backboard); Property of a European Lady of Title; Christie’s, London, 3 December 2009, lot 20; Acquired at the above sale by the present owner Before World War I, Natalia Goncharova was invited by Sergei Diaghilev to create sets and costumes for the opera-ballet The Golden Cockerel (staged by Mikhail Fokin for Diaghilev’s Russian Ballet company based on the opera by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov). The opera-ballet premiered in Paris and London in 1914. Goncharova’s fresh approach to popular Russian art, her familiarity with contemporary French painting, and her sense of humor allowed the artist to become an intermediary between the Russian avant-garde and Western art. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera, based on Alexander Pushkin’s fairy tale and political satire The Golden Cockerel, inspired Goncharova to create colorful sets that established her as a leading artist and set designer. Her success paved the way for further collaborations between the Russian Ballet and such artists as Mikhail Larionov, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. All lots marked with the symbol "plus (+)" are under temporary importation and are subject to import tax (5.5%) (EU) and administrative customs broker fees.