Recently I had the chance to see an exhibition of the Ballet Russes at the National Gallery of Australia(NGA) this is an exhibition of Sergei Diaghilev‘s Ballets Russes including costumes by artists such as Natalia Goncharova, Michel Larionov, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, André Derain, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Georges Braque, André Masson and Giorgio de Chirico.
I think that perhaps it is difficult to grasp the impact that the Ballet Russes has had on the development of 20th century art.
The Ballets Russes was a Russian ballet company, directed by Sergei Diaghilev that performed throughout Europe and the United States in the early 1900s. During the early 1970s, NGA decided to purchase a huge collection of Ballet Russes’ costumes at auction, as one of its first big acquisitions and has spent the past three decade steadily amassing a collection of over 250 pieces. The exhibition has on display includes 150 costumes and accessories from 34 productions from 1909 to 1939, many of which have not been on display since they came off the stage.
Images via National Gallery of Australia.