DescriptionALEXANDRE NIKOLAEVICH BENOIS (Russian/French, 1870-1960)
Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on paper
12 x 9 inches (30.5 x 22.9 cm)
Alexandre Benois was a member of the intellectually and artistically prominent Benois family of St. Petersburg, Russia. Both his father and brother were important Imperial architects. While earning a law degree, Benois developed a circle of friends that included Sergei Diaghilev and Leon Bakst, and together they founded the Ballets Russes in 1909. While Benois produced costume and set designs for the Ballets Russes, he also worked with the Moscow Art Theatre.
The Polonaise is a Polish folk dance which began with the peasantry and then spread in popularity among the upper classes. It is in 3/4 time and has a rather stately character, which Benois is ridiculing in the present work, and which doubtlessly refers to the most famous of all the Polonaises written for the piano in the nineteenth century, the Polonaise Militaire by Chopin.
Condition report available upon request.
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2017 October 13 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas