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Maker(s):Bilibin, Ivan Iakovlevich
Culture:Russian (1872-1942)
Title:Persian Woman
Date Made:1921
Materials:Watercolor on paper laid on board
Measurements:Overall: 10 7/16 x 7 3/4 in.; 26.5 x 19.7 cm
Accession Number:  AC 2001.204
Credit Line:Gift of Thomas P. Whitney (Class of 1937)
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

Label Text:
A dedicated graphic artist, Bilibin became known for his illustrations of Russian fairy tales. His signature style includes exquisite linear drawing and decorative ornamentation and remains popular to this day.
Bilibin created this watercolor in Cairo, where he went in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution and lived from 1920 to 1925. He experienced his new environment with great excitement: “It seemed as if a page from One Thousand and One Nights became alive in front of me.” Like many other World of Art participants, Bilibin was inclined toward exoticism, as this drawing vividly proves.

In Cairo, the artist established a studio on Antikhania Street. As a logotype of his studio, he used stylized scales; they appear on the upper left corner of this drawing, along with his monogram and the date. According to his companion Liudmila Chirikova, Bilibin made the drawing of the “Persian woman with small Arabs” for sale in his free time when he was not working on commissions.

BJ, 2013

women; portraits; servants; fruit; patterns

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