Mechanical Costume for the 1916 Ballet "Histoires Naturelles"
From the album "L'art théatral décoratif moderne" (Paris: La Cible, 1919)
Mikhail Larionov, French (born Russia), 1881 - 1964
During the mid-to-late 1910s, Larionov worked on a series of ballets that, had they been realized, would have been Ballets Russes' founder and producer Sergei Diaghilev’s most radical productions. Larionov envisioned mechanized figures and stage sets for his Futurist ballets Théâtre des Ombres Couleurs (A Theater of Painted Shadows) and Histoires Naturelles (Natural Histories). With no narrative framework, these ballets were abstract in both form and content, and served as precedents for the modernist innovations of the Ballets Russes in the 1920s. The design displayed here was published in a limited-edition album edited by Valentin Parnakh, Goncharova, Larionow: L’Art Décoratif Théâtral Moderne, Paris: Editions La Cible, 1919.