Decor for the Ballet "Le Soleil de Nuit"
Mikhail Larionov, French (born Russia), 1881 - 1964
Sergei Diaghilev’s discovery of Natalia Goncharova was a watershed in the history of the Ballets Russes. This leader of the Russian avant-garde developed a daring aesthetic that fused the archaic with the modern through Neo-Primitivist emulation of peasant art informed by Cubo-Futurist experimentation. In his designs for the ballet Le Soleil de Nuit (Night Sun), Larionov reinvented Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera Snegourotchka (Snow Maiden) as a pagan celebration of the sun-god Yarilo at the arrival of spring. A garland of joyful sun discs in the ceiling was meant to spin rapidly, recalling Larionov’s attempts to convey the effect of scattered light rays in his paintings.