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Sergei Diaghilev’s “Exhibition of Historic Russian Portraits”

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Abstract The article treats of the “Exhibition of Historic Russian Portraits” which Sergei Diaghilev organzed at the Tauride Palace, St. Petersburg, in 1905. Reference is made to the precedents to the event such as Nikolai Vrangel’s exhibition “Russian Portrait Painting of the Last 150 Years” of 1902 and to the primary supporters such as Tsar Nicholas II, Alexandre Benois, and the Grand Duke Nikolai Mikhailovich. Key works in the exhibition, especially the 18th century aristocratic portraits, promotiojnal materials, including the catalog, public and critical reaction, installation and design, and the practical role which the exhibiton played in Diaghilev’s professional life as impresaio are also described.


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