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Mstislav Dobuzhinsky (1875-1957)
Mstislav Dobuzhinsky (1875-1957)

Design for Les Cosaques de Platov à Paris

Details
Mstislav Dobuzhinsky (1875-1957)
Design for Les Cosaques de Platov à Paris
signed with artist's monogram (lower left)
pencil, ink, watercolour and gouache on paper
17 x 22¾ in. (43 x 57 cm.)
Provenance
Akim Tamiroff (stamp on the reverse).

Brought to you by

Alexis de Tiesenhausen
Alexis de Tiesenhausen

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Lot Essay

The 1926 production of Les Cosaques de Platov à Paris was staged in Paris by Nikita Balieff's Le Chauvre Souris company at the Théâtre de la Madeleine. Dobuzhinsky provided costume and set designs to compliment A. Arkhangesky's music and P. Potemkin's libretto. This satirical work tells of the heroic General Matvei Platov (1751-1818) and the Russian occupation of Paris in 1814. Platov is a key figure in Russia's military history; he led a Cossack regiment in the Napoleonic campaigns and famously offered his daughter's hand in return for Napoleon's capture.
In lots 84-86, all of which are taken from Dobuzhinsky's original folio of 14 designs for the production, the soldiers are shown to wear white bands on their left arm so that they might be easily distinguished by allied troops from the enemy.
The actor Akim Tamiroff (1899-1972) studied under Stanislavsky at the Moscow Art Theatre. It was in Paris following a European tour with the company that Tamiroff first met a number of Russian émigré artists including Dobuzhinsky and began collecting Russian art. After moving to America in 1932, Tamiroff went on to became one of the most successful Russian character actors in Hollywood.

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