Lower left, ink: Alexandre Benois; V. 1922.
Lower right, ink: Salle d’… du Palais Anitchkov à St. Peterbourg
Verso, pencil: Palais Anitchkof / Salle de bal.
Verso, graphite: [Dedication by the artist's daughter Anna Benois-Cherkesova to Vava, a friend or relative] [Cyrillic] Dorogomu Vave na pamiat' o chudesnoi Peterburgskoi arkhitekture i moem ottse tak ee liubivshem ot liubiashei ego vsei dushoi Ati Benua-Cherkesova [To dearest Vava for memory of the wonderful Petersburg architecture and of my father who loved it so much from the one who loves him with all her heart Atia Benois-Cherkesova]
This is the dining room at Anichkov Palace, which Benois mistakenly remembers as ball room.
Benois was a leading figure in the World of Art. In his worldview, the palace of Louis XIV in Versailles embodied the highest cultural achievement of Western civilization. Yet he also loved his native Saint Petersburg and depicted its palaces and parks, many of which date to the Baroque period.
Anichkov Palace was built in the mid-eighteenth century for Empress Elizabeth and remained in the royal family until the October Revolution. At the time of Benois’s drawing, the building housed the city museum.
The dynamic pencil strokes and layers of transparent watercolor are characteristic of Benois’s vibrant style, which he maintained throughout this life.
interiors; windows; columns
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