Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes never before seen costumes and artwork

Ballet Russes picasso. Image from Private Collection. LR

Stories from the Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes told through costumes, programmes and objects will be shown together for the first time in the UK at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museums alongside a Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition Matisse: Drawing with Scissors from 2 February until 27 April.

Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes features a unique collection of costume and ephemera telling the stories of the Ballet Russes, the most spectacular and scandalous ballet company of the early 1900s. Matisse was one of many artists commissioned to create costumes and scenery for the company, the exhibition also includes work by other great artists of the period including Dame Laura Knight.

Henri Matisse was one of the 20th century’s most influential artists. His vibrant works are celebrated for their extraordinary richness and luminosity of colour and his spectacular paper cut-outs were his final triumph. This exhibition features 35 lithographic reproductions of the famous cut-outs that he produced in the last years of his life. It includes iconic images such as The Snail and the Blue Nudes.

Ballet Russes Picasso. Image from Private Collection. LR
Ballet Russes Picasso. Image from Private Collection. LR

Philippa Tinsley, Curator Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum said: “We are very excited to bring these two fabulous exhibitions to Worcester. We are very proud to be the first venue in the UK to show the Ballet Russes collection, it is an extraordinary collection of objects illustrating just how spectacular the Ballet Russes was in the early 1900s. Matisse: Drawing with Scissors will be a visual delight for all visitors; spring will be an exciting time to visit the Worcester Art Gallery & Museum.”

Both exhibitions are free and run from 2 February until 27 April, more information can be found here: www.museumsworcestershire.org.uk

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