Mstislav Dobujinsky (1875-1957) was a world-famous set designer, painter, teacher, a leader of the creative association Mir Iskusstva (World of Art) and an authority on Russian and Lithuanian traditional culture. He lectured in colleges and institutes and taught in his own painting studio, designed playing cards and sketches of tobacco kiosks. Mainly, he created costumes and decorations for plays including Nikolai Gogol's The Inspector General.
The play told a simple tale of a young civil servant, Khlestakov, who finds himself stranded in a small provincial town. By mistake, he is taken by the local officials to be a government inspector, who is visiting their province incognito. Khlestakov happily adapts to his new role and exploits the situation. His true identity is revealed but then arrives the real inspector. Gogol masterfully creates with a few words, people, places, things and lets them disappear in the flow of the story.