Take, for instance, this gorgeous recreation of a gown worn by Charlotte-Marguerite de Montmorency, Princess of Conde. We know the Princess wore this gown because it's captured in the painting by Rubens of Her Royal Highness that is conveniently on display on the adjacent wall. The Frick Art and Historical Center in Pittsburgh owns the Rubens and commissioned de Borchgrave to create this sculpture in connection with the traveling exhibit. And remember, every bit of the intricate sculpture, from the pearls to the button-and-loop closures to the rebato (or stiff flaring collar) is made of paper.
And here's a bit of history for you. At age 15, Charlotte-Marguerite acquired her title when she married Henry II of Bourbon. But there had been competition for the young woman's favors (if not her hand in marriage). Dirty dog Henry IV also had his eye on Charlotte-Marguerite. There was, after all, only a 43 year age difference between the would-be lovers. It is thought her husband saved her from becoming Henry IV's mistress by whisking her out of the country following their marriage. The King died one year later, making it safe for Charlotte-Marguerite to return to France.
Me, Deb and Fish with Red Peas after the costume
by Natalia Goncharova for Sadko
Sergei Diaghilev established the Ballet Russes in 1909 to perform ballets that embraced all things modern. The productions were true collaborations among leading composers, choreographers, dancers, and artists, the likes of which the world had never seen. (Think Stravinsky, Balanchine, Nijinsky and Dali.)
Stravinsky's The Firebird was created for the Ballet Russes and was performed as part of the program that toured the United States in 1916. In a tip of its hat to the exhibit, the Naples Philharmonic performed The Firebird at its March concert.
|Floating Les Ballet Russes costumes|
We learned about a serendipitous meeting between de Borchgrave and Picasso that surely made her recreation of the artists' costumes even more special. I mentioned in my earlier post that de Borchgrave's love of art developed at a young age. As the story goes, a ten year old Isabelle was vacationing with her family at the beach in the South of France. Isabelle found the sand a nice medium for her drawings. Picasso wandered by and commented favorably on her work. It's one of those things even a child would tend to remember.
"Iksender" after a costume by Leon Baker for
The Flower of Immortality and "Chinese
Conjurer" by Picasso for Parade
De Borchgrave's artistic skill set extends beyond paper sculpting to painting on canvas and sculpting in bronze. She has not yet learned to work in copper, though, so one of the artists in her studio is tasked with this job.
Deb and I took in Fashioning Art from Paper on its last weekend at Artis-Naples. (Talk about cutting it close!) I don't know if there's an interim stop, but if you happen to be in Atlanta this fall, the exhibit will be on display at SCAD FASH from Oct. 24 - Jan. 12. Looking to the future, our docent told us de Borchgrave is working on an exhibit based on Frida Kahlo. I can easily envision how exciting that would be.
A huge thanks goes out to Artis-Naples (and the other organizing museums) for bringing Fashioning Art from Paper to Southwest Florida. It was truly a remarkable show.