This work of the famous artist Lev Bakst has a very interesting history. It began in Paris. Two artist friends Leon Bakst and Valentin Serov, walking along the night streets of the French capital, decided to go to a cafe. At a table in the corner sat a girl who made such an impression on Leon that he immediately, on a napkin, painted her portrait. The woman’s name was Anna Kid, she was the wife of Alexandre Benois, founder of the World of Art Society.
After the artist transferred the painting from the napkin to the canvas, it did not go unnoticed, the critics did not remain indifferent to it, the canvas caused a lot of responses, both positive and negative. The plot depicted in the picture is banal – a bored woman, an impressionistic style of image. But Bakst not only writes his impressions, he seeks to transform reality.
White and blue lines and planes of the image form a special rhythm with their own specific dynamics. This picturesque dance is stopped by the figure of a woman sitting at a table. Her arms, face, and a disproportionately large hat are lined up. The play of colors, the identity of the tones of the hair and oranges are drawn on purpose, in defiance of Serov’s realism in The Girl with Peaches. The woman’s face itself is imperceptible, as if unfinished, this emphasizes the unreality of a mysterious stranger in a night cafe in Paris.
Year of painting: 1902.
Dimensions of the painting: 39 x 48 cm.
Writing technique: oil.
Gallery: State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.