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 Alexandre Benois

Born:   April 21 (on May 3) 1870
Deceased:   February 9, 1960


Russian artist, art historian, art critic, the founder and main ideologist of the World of Art association. Alexandre Benois came from the family of well-known architects of Benois: he was the son of N. L. Benois, brother of L. N. Benois and A. N. Benois and cousin of Y. Y. Benois.

Alexandre Benois was born on April 21 (May 3), 1870 into the family of the Russian architect Nikolay Benois and Camilla Benois (daughter of the architect A. K. Kavos) in St. Petersburg. After finishing the prestigious 2nd St. Petersburg Grammar School he studied in the Academy of Arts for some time, as well as pursued art independently and under the guidance of his elder brother Albert.
In 1894 he started his career as an art theorist and historian with writing a chapter about Russian artists for the German collection History of Painting of the 20th Century. In 1896 — 1898 and 1905 — 1907 he worked in France.
He became one of the initiators and ideologists of the art association World of Art and founded the same-name magazine.
In 1916-1918 the artist created illustrations to Alexandre Pushkin’s poem The Bronze Horseman. In 1918 Alexandre Benois headed Art Gallery of the Hermitage Museum and published its new catalogue. He went on working as a book illustrator, scenic designer and stage director, in particular, taking part in staging and designing play productions in the Bolshoy Drama Theatre. 
Alexander Benois participated in the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris in 1925. Soon the artist left the USSR and settled in Paris in 1926. There he was mostly engaged in designing stage sceneries and theatre costumes. Alexandre Benois played a significant role in work of Sergey Diaghilev’s famous Ballets Russes, both as an artist and stage director of its performances.
Alexandre Benois died on February 9, 1960 in Paris.
“Alexandre Benois is a unique master of painting and stage production. He is a rare art connoseur, who brought up an entire generation of youth with his convincing art letters”, - Nicholas Roerich emphasized his high value. 

Tags: Alexandre Benois Russian artists    

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