Russian Museum
Augmented Reality


Commedia dell’ arte. 1906

Benois Alexander,
Oil on сanvas
68,5 x 101

Пост.: 1920 из собр. А. А. Коровина (Петроград)


The events in Commedia dell’ Arte take place in France during the reign of Louis XIV. The actors are performing scenes from the play The Indiscreet Punchinello on an open stage in Versailles park. The original composition of the picture is dynamic and vivid; the silhouettes of the figures are fantastical and expressive, their rhythm intricate and fanciful. The thick, rich colours and the effects of illumination intensify the theatrical nature of the scene. Benois brilliantly succeeds in conveying the spirit of an Italian commedia dell’ arte, with its bright pageantry and buffoonery.

Author's Biography

Benois Alexander

Benois, Alexander Nikolaevich
1870, St Petersburg - 1960, Paris
Graphic artist, painter, theatrical designer, art historian. Studied under brother Albert Benois, at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1887-1888) and at the Faculty of Law, St Petersburg University (1890-1894). Member of the World of Art (1899; founding member), Union of Russian Artists (1903) and the Salon d'Automne (1906). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Society of Russian Watercolourists (1891-1896), Sergei Makovsky Salon (1909), International Exhibitions in Munich (1898), Rome (1911), Malmo (1914) and the Exhibitions of Russian Art in Paris (1906, 1910) and Berlin (1906). Designed for the Mariinsky Theatre, Vera Komissarzhevskaya Theatre and the Starinny Theatre in St Petersburg, Moscow Arts Theatre, Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, Ida Rubinstein Ballet Company, Teatro Real de Madrid, Theatre des Champs Elysees and Theatre National de L'Opera in Paris. Curator of the Hermitage Picture Gallery (1918-1926). Member of the Commission for the Protection of Monuments of Art and Antiques. Edited the Art Treasures of Russia magazine (1901-1903). Emigrated to Paris (1926).

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