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Alexander Nikolaevich Benois

 (1870 - 1960)
Alexander Nikolaevich Benois was active/lived in Russian Federation, France.  Alexander Benois is known for watercolor painting, stage design, writing.

Alexander Nikolaevich Benois

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Biography from the Archives of askART

Biography photo for Alexander Nikolaevich Benois

A painter mainly in watercolors, stage designer and art historian, Benois was born in St Petersburg of French and Italian descent.  His father was Nikolai Benois, architect to the Imperial Palaces in Peterhof.

In 1887 he attended a part-time course in stage design at the Academy of Arts, but was otherwise self-taught as an artist.  Benois studied law at the University of St Petersburg from 1890-1894, and during that time belonged to a circle of friends, including Diaghilev, Somov and Bakst, who came together to study art.  This informal circle later developed into the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) and held exhibitions and published a journal of the same name from 1898 to 1904.

Benois was influenced by the art of the eighteenth century, which he admired on his many trips throughout Europe.  At home he became an influential stage designer, creating sets and costumes for Le Pavillon d'Armide 1907 and (for Diaghilev) Petrushka 1911 and Le Rossignol 1914, among others.  A prolific author, he wrote several books on art and volumes of memoirs, and from 1901 to 1903 he was the editor of the periodical Khudozhestvennye sokrovishcha Rossii (Art Treasures of Russia).

Benois served as curator of painting at the Hermitage from 1918 to 1925, then moved to Paris in 1926, where he continued to paint and design for the theatre.  He died in Paris.

Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.48

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Biography photo for Alexander Nikolaevich Benois
by Leon Bakst 1898

About  Alexander Nikolaevich Benois

Born:  1870 - St. Petersburg, Russia
Died:   1960 - Paris, France
Known for:  watercolor painting, stage design, writing