Natalia Goncharova. The City Square. Study for backdrop for the ballet Le Coq d'or (The Golden Cockerel). (c. 1937)

Natalia Goncharova The City Square. Study for backdrop for the ballet Le Coq d'or (The Golden Cockerel) (c. 1937)

  • Not on view

For the 1937 Col. W de Basil's Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo production (premiere London). Choreography by Michel Fokine. Music by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

Goncharova designed the sets and costumes for the original 1914 Ballets Russes premiere of Le Coq d'or and revised her work for the revival by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, a successor company led by Colonel Wassily de Basil. The ballet was based on Aleksandr Pushkin's 1835 poem "The Tale of the Golden Cockerel," which was itself adapted from a Russian fairytale. For this elaborate backdrop for act 3, in which the King and Queen return to a waiting crowd outside the palace entrance, Goncharova drew inspiration from the bold outlines of Russian icon painting and the abstract patterns of peasant embroidery, using tradition to fuel the modern.

Gallery label from Stage Pictures: Drawing for Performance, March 11–August 24, 2009.
Gouache, watercolor, and pencil on board
18 3/8 x 24 1/2" (46.7 x 61.6 cm)
Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest (by exchange)
Object number
© 2021 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
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