Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Molti Ritratti: Ida Rubinstein

Ida Rubenstein (1885-1960) was a Russian ballerina whose distinctive appearance appealed to painters even at a time when she could easily be photographed. Her Wikipedia entry is here, and it states that because her formal ballet training was limited, she was never first-rate in her field; she compensated by virtue of her stage presence.

Let's take a look.


Ida Rubinsteitn as Phaedra - 1923
Here is a photograph taken a few years after the paintings below were completed.

By Leo Bakst (Ida as Cleopatra) - 1909
Bakst was the ace costume designer for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes.

By Leon Bakst - c.1910
Here is another Bakst take on Rubinstein, a portrait rather than illustrating a costume concept.

By Valentin Serov - 1910
Serov was a master of Russian portraiture. Most of his works were naturalist, but this Rubinstein shows him drifting into modernism shortly before his death.

By Antonio de la Gándara - 1913
Gándara was a fashionable artist based in Paris, so this portrait was probably painted while the troupe was there on tour.

By Romaine Brooks - 1917
Brooks had a three-year affair with Rubinstein, and this is one of the paintings from that time.

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