Furthermore, through their daring inventions, Russian artists of the first thirty years of the 20th century transformed, profoundly and permanently, our perception of stage design – and hence of the theatre. They belonged to an extraordinarily creative generation of impresarios, dancers, actors, patrons, and critics who inspired or at least made a major contribution to the international renaissance of the art of the stage, and in particular areas, e.g. the teaching and performing of ballet, their influence is still present today. However, in spite of the many published commentaries on the Russian theatre, in spite of the autobiographies and biographies of its leading representatives, and in spite of the scholarly appreciations of its various components (ballet, drama, opera), the subject of stage design in Russia has yet to be explored in all its manifestations. Each work presented here is documented as fully as possible, and includes curatorial data, provenance index, and references to relevant published sources, exhibitions; and variants such as copies and preliminary drawings.
The catalogue raisonne addresses the issues of attribution, identification of stage production, and date of execution and adduces evidence in the form of bibliographical, archival, and photographic data, expert opinion, and circumstantial evidence in order to support assumptions and conclusions. ‘The Encyclopedia of Russian Stage Design 1880-1930’ has been published to accompany ‘Masterpieces of Russian Stage Design 1880-1930’.