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  • A. Benois. Lui the XIV. Feeding the Fishes. 1897. Paper mounted on cardboard and canvas, pastel, water-colors, gouache, Italian pencil, black lead pencil, bronze. 65,5 x 98,8.
  • A.Benois.  From the“Versailles” Albume. Petrograd, “Aquilon”, 1922. The Bahus Fontain in Winter. Photolitograph, painted with water color. Trial print.
  • A.Benois. The
  • A.Benois. Versailles. With Curcius. 1897. Oil on canvas.
  • A.Benois. From the“Versailles” Albume. Petrograd , “Aquilon”, 1922. Photolitograph, painted with water color. Trial print.
  • A.Benois. “Apollo” Pond. 1905–1906. Oil on canvas.. 50 x 60,3.
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09 June - 22 June 2010
Mikhailovsky Palace

In collection of the Russian Museum there are about 6000 works by the famous Russian artist, art critic and art historian Alexander Benois (1870-1960). This exhibition includes about 40 paintings and graphic works, created by this artist in different years and devoted to Versailles - the outstanding monument of the French architecture and park-garden art of the XVII century. According to his own words, Alexander Benois was "overflowed with Versailles" and "entirely resettled into the past". In the series of water-colors and gouaches "The Last Strolls of Ludovic the XIV" (1897-1898) as well as in the "Second Versailles series" (1905-1907) and in the works created in 1922, after the final departure from Russia, he adheres to the distinct, slightly dry plastic manner, which distinguishes the French landscape and architectural graphic of the XVII century. That series for a long time confirmed the glory of the "singer of Versailles and Ludovics" for Alexander Benois, who displayed the great interest to the art of the Russian and European baroque from his childhood.
In the works of the "Versailles series" the nature and history are appearing in the inseparable eternity. The architectural buildings, sculptures and alleys of the famous residence of the French kings are looking as the silent witnesses of the irrevocable passed epoch, keeping the memory about the creators and owners of the Versailles ensemble. Together with the sketches, painted from natures, the artist executed the genre pictures, re-creating not only the characteristic scenes of the ancient historical epoch, but also its unrepeatable atmosphere. The high executing mastery helped Benois to present the image of Versailles as the image of the whole epoch, which produced its own etiquette, fashion and magnificent style that preserved its attractiveness for the painter, who lived and worked in the disturbed XX century, fulfilled with catastrophes and upheavals.