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Set design for the ballet Islamey. 1917

Anisfeld Boris,
Watercolour, gouache and lacquer on paper mounted on canvas
69,5 х 79

State Russian Museum


Islamey — one of the three Michel Fokine’s ballets — was included in the performance programme in aid of the Literary Fund. The main parts were danced by Tamara Karsavina, Pavel Gerdt and Michel Fokine. Its subject was inspired by Arabian Nights, following Scheherazade, the renowned ballet of the 1910 Saison Russe. Anisfeld succeeded in creating his own fairy-tale world on stage, his own Orient, spicy, thrilling and rich, following but not copying Bakst. The ballet critic Valerian Svetlov called Anisfeld’s designs “a colourist, multi-voiced fugue”.

Author's Biography

Anisfeld Boris

Anisfeld, Boris (Ber) Israelevich
1879, Beltsy, Bessarabia — 1973, Chicago
Painter, graphic artist, sculptor, theatrical designer, teacher. Studied under Gennady Ladyzhensky and Kiriak Kostandi at the Odessa School of Art (1895–1900) and under Ilya Repin and Dmitry Kardovsky at the Higher School of Art, Imperial Academy of Arts (1900–1909). Member of the Salon d’Automne in Paris (1906) and the World of Art (1911). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Union of Russian Artists (1906–1910), World of Art (1906, 1911–1917), International Exhibition in Venice (1907), Exhibitions of Russian Art in Paris (1906) and Berlin (1906), Secession in Vienna (1908), etc. Theatrical designer from 1907. For Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes designed the Rimsky-Korsakov’s ballet

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