Costume Design for the Ballet "Foire Russe"

Mikhail Larionov, French (born Russia), 1881 - 1964

c. 1916

Watercolor and graphite over charcoal on paper

Sheet: 28 x 18 5/8 inches (71.1 x 47.3 cm)

© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Christian Brinton, 1941

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Larionov’s Russian folk costume design for an unrealized production is repurposed here for a witty character sketch of Sergei Diaghilev’s entourage. Represented, clockwise from left, are: Larionov, Léon Bakst, choreographer Léonide Massine, dancer Maria or Gala Chabelska, composer Lord Berners, Diaghilev, and (seated) Natalia Goncharova. Larionov captures his colleagues’ distinctive physical traits described by friends and contemporaries: Diaghilev’s “insolent little moustache, eyes oddly drooping at the corners;” Bakst’s portly figure and red hair that “burned like fire” in the sunlight. But more than that, he conveys the spirit of informal, intimate, and intense collaboration pervading this circle.