Iconic Designs


Mikhail Larionov (1881-1964). Chout, Scene design, 1921. Watercolor. Howard D. Rothschild Collection. Framed storage. MS Thr 414.4 (75). Bequest, 1989.


Like several Ballets Russes ballets, Chout (Jester, in Russian) reflects the important collaboration between a new Russian modernism in art and the richness of Russian folk heritage.  In this case, Diaghilev stressed the relationship even more by engaging an artist, Mikhail Larionov, to choreograph (with the assistance of new principal dancer Thaddeus Slavinsky).  The result was decidedly mixed, with a violent plot and a perhaps overly contrived visual and movement vocabulary.