The Fokine Era

Photograph Photograph Photograph Photograph

Boris Anisfeld (1879-1973). Sadko, Costume design for Mermaids in Sea Kingdom scene, 1911. Pencil, watercolor, silver paint, and egg glaze or varnish. Howard D. Rothschild collection on Ballets Russes of Serge Diaghilev. ppf MS Thr 414.4 (1). Bequest, 1989.


This collection of drawings shows several groups of designs related to the ballet Sadko, which was actually one scene - the one that constitutes an underwater ballet - from the opera of that title composed by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov. It tells the story of Sadko, a wandering singer, who enchants the Czar of the Seas with his music and wins the hand of the Czar’s daughter.  The ballet was produced by Diaghilev in 1911 with a restaging by Bolm in 1916.

These first four costume designs are from the initial production of Sadko in 1911.