Born in Russia, Alexandre Serebriakoff moved to Paris in 1920 with his mother, the renowned artist Zinaida Serebriakova, to begin his career as a set designer and decorator. Influenced by his cousin Nikolai Benois and encouraged by the patronage of his friend Charles de Beistegui, Serebriakoff developed a reputation for his flawlessly executed watercolours depicting opulent interiors. The friendship between Kochno and Serebriakoff was established during their collaboration on a production of 'La Sylphide' (1946-47). Shortly afterwards, Serebriakoff executed a series of watercolours depicting the interior of Bérard and Kochno's appartment.
Boris Kochno (1904-1990) was a Russian poet, librettist and dancer who became a companion of and collaborator with Sergei Diaghilev, the impresario behind the Ballets Russes. During his lifetime Kochno, a close friend of the artist Christian Bérard, acquired an impressive collection of paintings, drawings and manuscripts related to his friends from the world of art and the theatre, such as Picasso, Benois, Tchelitchev, Diaghilev and Larionov.