Alexei Shchusev and the Stage

Valentina Khairova

Article: 
HERITAGE
Magazine issue: 
#2 2017 (55)

Much has been written about the famous architect Alexei Shchusev, whose career flourished both before the Russian Revolution and during the Soviet era. We have Shchusev's own memoirs as well as the remembrances of his family and friends, while the architect's versatile achievements have been well documented by scholars. However, his connections with the theatre and his work as a stage designer - such as on the 1926 Moscow Art Theatre production of "The Sisters Gerard" - are much less known.

Alexei Shchusev. 1920-1930s
Alexei Shchusev. 1920-1930s.
Photograph. Private collection, Moscow

Shchusev was first exposed to the theatre in his youth. His mother, "an active participant in the Amateur Drama Society, whose members acted in the Grossman Theatre in Kishinev”,[1] made it a point to introduce her children to the stage. Later, as a student at the Imperial Academy of Arts, he could not but become immersed in St. Petersburg’s vibrant theatre scene.

Naturally, Shchusev spent most of his time and energy at the Academy: he took comprehensive architecture classes under Professor Benois, as well as drawing lessons, which were to prove no less important in his professional evolution. Shchusev became a lifelong admirer of painting as an art form, which explains his particular interest in Russian icon-painting, his close friendships with many artists, and his desire to work on sets and costumes for theatrical productions. It is likely that Shchusev first thought about working in the theatre around 1918-19, with the idea "[to] design and build a series of theatres for the working people, in cooperation with the People’s Artist of the Republic Alexander Sumbatov (Yuzhin)...”[2] He would create designs for the Palace of Labour a few years later, while the October Revolution Theatre and Club at Moscow’s Kazan Railway Station soon became a reality, which led to Shchusev designing the theatre’s auditorium and other related spaces. Such were Shchusev’s first steps on his path to mastering theatre-specific creative techniques and acquiring the knowledge that would later distinguish him among the founders of Soviet theatre architecture.

Shchusev’s decision to join the designers working on the 1926 Moscow Art Theatre’s production of "The Sisters Gerard (The Two Orphans)”[3] was no less significant. The melodrama was directed by Nikolai Gorchakov and Yelizaveta Telesheva, under Konstantin Stanislavsky as the theatre’s overall artistic director. By then, Shchusev had been awarded the degree Academician of Architecture (in 1910), and had designed the original wooden Lenin Mausoleum on Red Square; he also served as the Chairman of the Moscow Architectural Society. The exact reason why he decided to try his hand at something so different remains unknown; however, it is likely that he saw stage design as another path to self-discovery. Shchusev never shied away from experimentation, and he certainly would not do so at this time of widespread "theatre-mania”.

In the 1920s Russian theatre was a remarkable phenomenon. While proponents of revolutionary art called for a complete renewal of art forms that they considered to be obsolete, others sought to preserve the national cultural heritage. The best artists of the young Republic turned to set design, and the massive success of the theatre section at the International Exhibition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts in Paris in 1925 was a clear recognition of their accomplishments.

Alexei Shchusev. 1920-1930s
Alexei Shchusev. 1920-1930s
Photograph. Private collection, Moscow

Stanislavsky invited Shchusev to design the set for the production of "The Sisters Gerard” at the Moscow Art Theatre as a matter of principle: "Stanislavsky has an aversion to narrow 'specialists’ in set and costume design, he even steers clear of them; as a result, set drawings by a young artist with no the atre experience often captivate him, and he is prepared to indulge the artist to the point of giving him complete freedom,” one of his contemporaries, Nikolai Ulyanov, wrote.[4]

It was not Shchusev’s first encounter with the renowned company of the Moscow Art Theatre. He had seen its productions first back in 1903, when the troupe was on tour in St. Petersburg: "It was rumoured that the Art Theatre cultivated naturalism, complete with the sounds of croaking frogs and buzzing mosquitoes on the stage... A group of friends purchased a box at the theatre and invited me, an architect at the beginning of his career, to see the performance. I remember 'Uncle Vanya’ and then Maxim Gorky’s 'The Lower Depths’. From the very first moment, as soon as the curtain opened, people in the audience were glued to the stage, where real, genuine life was taking place; it permeated and enveloped the audience.”[5] Shchusev, who admired Stanislavsky both as an actor and stage director, was delighted at the opportunity to work with him, and attended rehearsals as often as he was able to "run away from [his] studio”.[6]

"The Sisters Gerard” was to be performed on the theatre’s smaller second stage, reserved for the works of contemporary playwrights. The Russian playwright Vladimir Mass had adapted Adolphe d’Ennery and Eugene Cormon’s Paris-set story as the basis for this melodrama set at the time of the French Revolution. Mass moved the setting of the play from the years before the Revolution to 1789, the height of its turmoil and the storming of the Bastille; the writer’s idea was to give the play a different social message, and a new psychological direction to the characters and their actions. In order to achieve this, Mass had to rewrite the dialogue and add both new characters and situations, which drastically changed the cast; the story itself remained the same.

The original play, which was true to the canons of its genre, had caught the attention of both stage and screen professionals. It is generally thought that Mass drew inspiration for his adaptation of "The Two Orphans” from the American film "Orphans of the Storm” (1921), which was shown in the Soviet Union; in it, the famous film director D.W. Griffith (18751948) introduced both fictional and historical characters, leaders of the French Revolution. It is very likely that Shchusev saw this film, but certain characteristic features of silent cinema, such as its highly conventional settings and costumes, would have prevented him from using the film as a "prompt” for his future production. However, over the course of his career Shchusev produced a number of drawings that reflected his interest in depicting French street life, masterful works which resemble a seasoned traveller’s sketches.

The working title for the drawings of the Moscow Art Theatre’s set design was "The Tempest of the Times”. Mass’s melodrama was played out in five acts, with a total of eight scenes set against the following backdrops: "Old Paris Gateway”, "Marquis de Praille’s Mansion (The Orgy)”, "Mother Frochard’s Basement (The Lair)”, "The Count’s Study”, "Henriette’s Home”, "The Women’s Prison Courtyard” and "At the Courthouse”. Shchusev executed the original sketches, which the theatre’s veteran set designer Viktor Simov (1858-1935) then adapted and turned over to yet another designer, Yakov Gremislavsky (1886-1954), who also worked on make-up and wigs.

This production offered significant challenges in terms of set design - most of all, due to Stanislavsky’s particular vision. For him, the genre of melodrama "does not tolerate any conventions. Melodrama is real, everyday life, albeit intense and measured, without unnecessary details and poses... When watching a melodrama, the audience believes that everything that is taking place actually happened in real life, and not on the theatre stage.”[7]

Until recently, it was believed that Shchusev worked on set design for the first two scenes of the play and on its costumes. However, his archive includes sketches and finished drawings for all the acts. Masterfully executed, they reveal the precise hand of an architect; in order to bring light to the sharp lines, he used a transparent layer of watercolour.

The play opened with a scene on the outskirts of Paris. The viewer’s attention was immediately drawn to some poor folk waiting in line in front of a bakery on the left side of the stage. Far away in the background there was a gendarme standing under a lancet arch; in the forefront, a few tavern regulars were enjoying a cup of cider. The mise-en-scenesin the first act provided the actors with certain key points on the stage to move from one group of actors to the next, such as the fountain, the tables at the tavern, columns in the architectural arches and posts by the riverbank. A picturesque pleated curtain with tassels folded softly around the stage and completed the composition. Shchusev painted set designs that harmonized with the furniture and other props representing the period, as well as with the light and sound effects. Thus, the evening light, diffused and soft, was accentuated by a distant ringing of church bells, calling the faithful to mass, as well as the muffled barking of dogs.

The first scene of the second act depicted a night of debauchery at the mansion of the Marquis de Praille, the Paris police chief. Shchusev showed great powers of imagination when he created the lavish interior and furnishings for this scene; a diagram of the backdrops and furniture placement on the stage (preserved in the Moscow Art Theatre archives) reveals the simple techniques Shchusev used to enhance the impression that the dramatic events were to make on the audience. Even though in the 1920s Russian theatre was quite open to innovative approaches to set design, Shchusev turned to old, traditional methods in order to stay true both to the established concept of the play and the spirit of collaboration with his colleagues. Furthermore, Stanislavsky’s vision of the play provided guidelines as well - he would often illustrate his ideas with quick sketches. "With Stanislavsky at the helm, there is very little for anyone to do. There is always someone who does everything for you, down to the smallest detail. In fact, most are not responsible for anything - everything is meticulously prepared in some mysterious laboratories, the laboratories of Hoffmann’s Paracelsus,” one historian of Russian theatre has written.[8]

Occasionally, it was the actors’ needs that called for a different approach to presenting the story. Thus, at a rehearsal of "The Orgy” scene, Stanislavsky asked Shchusev to rearrange the set, so the latter "requested that all partitions be removed from the set of the pavilion/drawing-room. [He] used pilasters to distribute columns throughout the stage and hung every curtain that he was able to find in the theatre in between all of them; he also changed the light.”[9]

As a result, "the innumerable curtains separated the stage into various 'corners’; the largest of the curtains covered the centre of the stage entirely. As the semi-transparent curtains let the light through, the stage filled with a unique combination of light and splashes of colour. All the curtains shifted, moved, opened and closed, giving the entire scene a somewhat mysterious atmosphere.”[10] The audience would now have to rely on the sounds coming from the stage as they tried to guess what kind of depravities the bored aristocrats were getting up to behind these curtains.

The next act of the play was conceived to tell the sad story of the blind girl, Louise - for more than a month Mother Frochard had been forcing her to sing and beg in the streets of Paris. Louise lived in a basement and received neither food nor clothing: the more miserable she looked, the more alms she would get.

The first scene of the third act started in Count de Linieres’ lavishly decorated study, with the Count and his wife talking about their son. The one that followed took the audience into a small house in a quiet corner of Paris: "The stage presented a sliver of a narrow Paris street, with a tall chestnut tree obstructing the view. Three quarters of the stage were taken up by the fagade of a two-storey house with a tile roof. A low fence with a gate separated the house from the street, and an outside ladder led to Henriette’s apartment on the first floor. Konstantin Sergeievich [Stanislavsky] directed Shchusev to 'remove’ the part of the first floor wall facing the audience. The empty square, like a large window, allowed the spectators to see everything inside the room.”[11] It was there that Henriette spent her days sewing and embroidering, and it was there that, disguised as a client, Countess de Linieres came to meet the girl and was charmed by Henriette’s manners and meek demeanour.

Act IV takes the audience to the courtyard of the women’s prison, the Madelonette. The scene is built on constant movement, the coming and going of the main characters: to achieve this effect through his set design, Shchusev used a variety of techniques, including multiple doors, stairs, and porches, with a stone wall with an iron gate depicted on the right side of the stage. "The unconscious Henriette is carried out of her prison cell. She declares a hunger strike: 'Set me free, or I will die!” she demands. Unexpectedly, Marquis de Praille appears and orders the release of all prisoners other than the political ones: 'We need more cells.’ But the revolutionary crowd has reached the prison walls and broken down the gates, shouting 'Down with tyranny! Freedom! The Bastille is captured!’”[12] Everyone’s joy revives the exhausted Henriette. The play ends with the scene at the courthouse. The revolutionary tribunal reads the verdict; all hardship is in the past: "Pierre is acquitted, Louise is reunited with Henriette, Count de Linieres has escaped abroad, so nothing stands in the way of Countess de Linieres acknowledging Louise as her daughter; Roger can marry Henriette.”[13]

It is important to note that both the plot and main characters of the play went through a profound transformation before the production was finalized. These changes meant more work for actors and set designers alike; those separate creative processes happened in parallel, although usually the set design was more or less agreed by the time rehearsals began. The slow pace of the play’s first acts combined with the swift finale demanded that Shchusev utilize the apron stage, which played an important role in the fast turns of the plot. Shchusev contributed to the dramatic effect through his choice of colour schemes: the undefined tones of the Paris banlieus set against the vivid, contrasting colours of the city’s opulent mansions. The broken line of sharp, edgy spaces that took over the entire stage embodied the emotional turmoil of the main characters. Shchusev designed each set by creating sharp divisions between the spaces where the action took place, and deepening the perspective. In Stanislavsky’s words, "there is no doubt that Alexei Viktorovich [Shchusev] will get it right. He is too experienced an artist; we would not be worth a dime as theatre directors if we were unable to explain our ideas to the artist.”[14]

This production provided Shchusev, the renowned architect, with a rare opportunity to design costumes for a variety of characters - from the very lowest classes of Paris, through the small merchants, to the wealthy aristocrats. At the time, set designers usually aimed to simply create costumes and accessories for the characters, without dwelling too much on their psychology. In contrast, Shchusev drew on the entirety of his life experiences to bring a human dimension to his drawings: "Young men in long cloaks, short knee-length pants, and large soft hats covering their faces; girls in wide skirts, headscarves and headdresses.”[15] Each character had his or her own distinct personality that was revealed in the costume drawings, whether tavern keeper, baker, or soldier, to say nothing about the main characters, two young, modest girls whose appearance was transformed throughout the play; the only constant was the impression of trusting, youthful innocence, expressed through the lines and colours of their dresses.

Shchusev took a different approach to other female characters. The image of Countess de Linieres (played by Olga Knipper-Chekhova and Yelizaveta Telesheva) called for a complex approach, with meticulous make-up, gorgeous hairstyles and a succession of rigid, luxurious outfits - Stanislavsky commissioned those from the famous dressmaker Nadezhda Lamanova. Several surviving black-and-white photographs of the actresses in one of the scenes provide us with clear evidence that the artist’s vision was fully realized on the stage.

Other costumes designed by Shchusev and Gremislavsky were made at the Moscow Art Theatre Workshops and the Leningrad State Costume Warehouse. The artists were particularly successful at creating the character of Mother Frochard, a menacing figure often found in the streets of Paris as well as on the stage; she hears everything, she sees everything, she has no scruples and pulls all her shady dealings off with unbelievable skill and a sort of brazen joy. Shchusev’s approach to depicting his characters was not unlike that of Alexandre Benois, who was among the first set designers to sketch not just a costume, but the actor wearing it, thus setting the tone for crafting the character, his or her image, and even giving direction to the actor’s work on the character’s psychology.

Even though melodrama as a genre was quite foreign to the very concept of the Moscow Art Theatre (which led to rather "heavy-handed” acting that did not fit with the play; the production received extremely negative reviews), the play was performed more than 170 times after it opened on October 29 1927. While the audience did appreciate the set design, the actors struggled to achieve an emotional intensity that was not present in the original text. "As a result, a lot of painstaking and fastidious work went into a predictably oppressive and mediocre production... So what is the verdict? Everything here is correct, tidy, smooth, and not without its picturesque moments. But that is as far as it goes. The work of the set designers suits the play and the production quite well,” one reviewer wrote.[16]

For Shchusev, working on the production was not a distraction or escape from his main occupation - architecture had always been and would remain the focus of his creative energies. Nevertheless, the artist in him was a predominant presence; Shchusev the architect was always a bit of an artist, too, even though the opposite was also true - the architect was subtly revealed in his drawings and paintings. This explains Shchusev’s lifelong passion for painting and drawing, as well as why the famous architect, who was always busy and in demand, was so inspired and enthusiastic about designing the sets for "The Sisters Gerard”. He used this opportunity to realize his creative ideas, even when unfortunately, as in this case, the result was not a complete success: "some sets and costumes designed by Alexei Viktorovich [Shchusev] were changed pre-production, and their style and historical accuracy suffered. Admittedly, the public was not aware of that at all, with the exception of [the famous artist] Mikhail Nesterov who came to attend one of the performances,” the artist’s brother and biographer Pavel wrote.[17]

After the work on the production was finished, Stanislavsky and Shchusev remained on friendly terms. Shchusev joined the Society to Support the Stanislavsky Opera Studio (Nikolai Semashko served as its chairman). The warm regard that the two men had for one another is also revealed in their correspondence; thus, on May 7 1928 Stanislavsky wrote to Shchusev to thank him for his greeting card, "Thank you for remembering me.’’[18]

Shchusev’s contribution to the production of "The Sisters Gerard” gave him the chance to understand how theatre worked. In the 1930s he studied the history of world theatre and the performing arts, published a number of articles and reviewed other architects’ proposals to establish common guidelines for promoting new forms of theatre, such as theatre-circus and stadium-theatre. Shchusev’s painstaking work paved the way for the building of a number of famous theatres in various cities of the Soviet Union (other projects were designed but never built), including the Navoi Opera and Ballet Theatre in Tashkent, which in 1948 was awarded the Stalin Prize of the 1st Degree.

 

  1. Shchusev, P.V. “Our Parents”. Typewritten copy approved by the author, undated. Currently in a private collection. Previously unpublished.
  2. Afanasiev, K. “A.V. Shchusev”. Moscow. 1978. P. 63.
  3. “The Sisters Gerard” was the Russian-language title of an adaptation of “Les Deux Orphelines”, a five-act drama written by Adolphe Philippe d’Ennery in collaboration with Eugene Cormon, and first performed in Paris in January 1874. The chief writer was also known in Russia as “Dennery”: “Les Deux Orphelines” was his best-known work.
  4. Ulyanov, N.P. “People I Met.” Moscow. 1959. P. 152.
  5. Shchusev, A.V. Typewritten copy approved by the author, undated. Currently in a private collection. Previously unpublished.
  6. Gorchakov, N. “K.S. Stanislavsky on a Director’s Work with Actors.” Moscow. 1958. P. 60. Hereinafter - Actors.
  7. Gorchakov. N. “K.S. Stanislavsky’s Lessons on being a Theatre Director. Conversations and Rehearsal Transcripts.” Moscow. 1952. Pp. 427-428. Hereinafter - Conversations.
  8. Evreinov, N.N. “History of Russian Theatre from Antiquity to 1917.” New York. The Chekhov Publishing House. 1955. P. 328.
  9. Actors. P. 64
  10. Ibid. Pp. 63 -64.
  11. Conversations. P. 457.
  12. Wulf, V. “A.I. Stepanova, Actress of the Moscow Art Theatre.” Moscow. 1985. P. 56
  13. Actors. P. 64.
  14. Actors. P. 80
  15. Conversations. P. 410.
  16. Quote from Uriel (O. Litovsky). '“The Sisters Gerard” at the Moscow Art Theatre’ in “Sovremenny Teatr” (Contemporary Theatre). No. 11, 15. November 1927.
  17. Shchusev, P.V. “A Few Chapters from the Life of Academician A.V. Shchusev.” Moscow. 2011. P. 175.
  18. K.S. Stanislavsky to A.V. Shchusev. Letter of May 7 1928. Typewritten original on the Moscow Art Theatre director’s letterhead, signed by K.S. Stanislavsky. Currently in a private collection. Previously unpublished.

 

Illustrations

ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Preliminary sketch of costumes for “The Sisters Gérard”. 1926–1927
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Preliminary sketch of costumes for “The Sisters Gérard”. 1926-1927
Graphite pencil, colour pencil on paper. 28 × 25 cm. Private collection, Moscow
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Old Paris Gateway. Scene I, Act I. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. Original version. 1926–1927
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Old Paris Gateway. Scene I, Act I. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. Original version. 1926-1927
Graphite pencil, watercolour, gouache, gold colour on paper. 26.3 × 35.2 cm. Private collection, Moscow. First publication
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Old Paris Gateway. Scene I, Act I. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. Version. 1927
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Old Paris Gateway. Scene I, Act I. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. Version. 1927
Graphite pencil, ink, watercolour, gold colour on tracing paper. 22.7 × 38.6 cm. Private collection, Moscow. First publication
Письмо К.С. Станиславского А.В. Щусеву. 5 июля 1928 года
Letter from Konstantin Stanislavsky to Alexei Shchusev, July 5 1928
Private collection, Moscow. First publication
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Henriette and Louise. Sketch of costumes for “The Sisters Gérard”. Original version. 1926–1927
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Henriette and Louise. Sketch of costumes for “The Sisters Gérard”. Original version. 1926-1927
Graphite pencil, watercolour on paper. 37 × 27 cm. Private collection, Moscow. First publication
A scene from the play “The Sisters Gérard”. Louise – Raisa Molchanova, Henriette – Angelina Stepanova. 1927
A scene from the play “The Sisters Gérard”. Louise – Raisa Molchanova, Henriette – Angelina Stepanova. 1927
Photograph. 13 × 18 cm. Museum of Moscow Art Theatre. First publication
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Henriette and Louise. Sketch of costumes for “The Sisters Gérard”. 1927
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Henriette and Louise. Sketch of costumes for “The Sisters Gérard”. 1927
Graphite pencil, ink, pen, watercolour, gouache on paper. 39.2 × 23 cm. Museum of Moscow Art Theatre. First publication
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Count de Linières, Marquis de Praille. Sketch of costumes for “The Sisters Gérard”. 1927
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Count de Linières, Marquis de Praille. Sketch of costumes for “The Sisters Gérard”. 1927
Graphite pencil, watercolour, ink, pen, gouache, whitewash on paper. 23 × 31 cm. Museum of Moscow Art Theatre. First publication
A scene from the play “The Sisters Gérard”. Count de Linières - Vladimir Yershov. 1927
A scene from the play “The Sisters Gérard”. Count de Linières - Vladimir Yershov. 1927
Photograph. 13 × 18 cm. Museum of Moscow Art Theatre. First publication
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Uncle, Picard, doctor, Louise the beggar, fauns’ masks. Sketch of costumes for “The Sisters Gérard”. 1927
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Uncle, Picard, doctor, Louise the beggar, fauns’ masks. Sketch of costumes for “The Sisters Gérard”. 1927
Graphite pencil, ink, pen, watercolour, gouache on paper. 33.4 × 42 cm. Museum of Moscow Art Theatre. First publication
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Black boys and aristocrats - Marquis de Praille’s guests. Sketch of costumes for “The Sisters Gérard”. 1927
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Black boys and aristocrats - Marquis de Praille’s guests. Sketch of costumes for “The Sisters Gérard”. 1927
Graphite pencil, watercolour, ink, pen, gold colour on paper. 30.5 × 62 cm. Museum of Moscow Art Theatre. First publication
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. The Orgy. Scene I, Act II. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. Version. 1927
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. The Orgy. Scene I, Act II. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. Version. 1927
Graphite pencil, watercolour on tracing paper. 23 × 39 cm. Private collection, Moscow. First publication
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. The Orgy. Scene I, Act II. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. Version. 1927
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. The Orgy. Scene I, Act II. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. Version. 1927
Graphite pencil, watercolour, gouache, gold colour on paper. 25.4 × 35.4 cm. Private collection, Moscow. First publication
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. 1926–1927
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. 1926-1927
Graphite pencil, watercolour, gold colour on paper. 37 × 27 cm. Private collection, Moscow. First publication
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. The Lair. Scene III, Act III. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. Version. 1926–1927
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. The Lair. Scene III, Act III. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. Version. 1926-1927
Graphite pencil, watercolour on paper. 37 × 27 cm. Private collection, Moscow. First publication
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. The Lair. Scene III, Act III. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. Version. 1927
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. The Lair. Scene III, Act III. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. Version. 1927
Graphite pencil, watercolour, gouache, gold colour on paper. 22.6 × 28.5 cm. Private collection, Moscow. First publication
A scene from the play “The Sisters Gérard”. Louise – Raisa Molchanova, Pierre – Iosif Rayevsky. 1927
A scene from the play “The Sisters Gérard”. Louise – Raisa Molchanova, Pierre – Iosif Rayevsky. 1927
Photograph. Museum of Moscow Art Theatre. First publication
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. The Count’s Study. Scene IV, Act III. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. Original version. 1926
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. The Count’s Study. Scene IV, Act III. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. Original version. 1926
Graphite pencil, watercolour, gouache, gold colour on paper. 22.6 × 28.5 cm. Private collection, Moscow. First publication
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. The Count’s Study. Scene IV, Act III. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. Version. 1926–1927
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. The Count’s Study. Scene IV, Act III. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. Version. 1926-1927
Graphite pencil, watercolour, gouache, gold colour on paper. 22.6 × 28.5 cm. Private collection, Moscow. First publication
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Henriette’s house. Scene V, Act III. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. Original version. 1926–1927
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Henriette’s house. Scene V, Act III. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. Original version. 1926-1927
Graphite pencil, watercolour on paper. 37 × 27 cm. Private collection, Moscow. First publication
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. The Women’s Prison Courtyard. Scene VI, Act IV. Original sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. 1926–1927
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. The Women’s Prison Courtyard. Scene VI, Act IV. Original sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. 1926-1927
Graphite pencil, watercolour on paper. 37 × 27 cm. Private collection, Moscow. First publication
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Marianna, Jacques with his band, Mother Frochard. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. Original version. 1926–1927
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Marianna, Jacques with his band, Mother Frochard. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. Original version. 1926-1927
Graphite pencil, watercolour on paper. 37 × 27 cm. Private collection, Moscow. First publication
KONSTANTIN STANISLAVSKY. At the Courthouse. Scene VIII, Act V. 1926–1927
KONSTANTIN STANISLAVSKY. At the Courthouse. Scene VIII, Act V. 1926-1927
Double-spread page of Shchusev’s notebook. Pencil on paper. Private collection, Moscow. First publication
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. At the Courthouse. Scene VIII, Act V. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. 1927
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. At the Courthouse. Scene VIII, Act V. Sketch of set design for “The Sisters Gérard”. 1927
Graphite pencil, watercolour on paper. 37 × 27 cm. Private collection, Moscow. First publication
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Henriette the sewing-maid, tavern keeper, bakery owner, a painting for “The Orgy”. Sketch of costumes for “The Sisters Gérard”. 1927
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Henriette the sewing-maid, tavern keeper, bakery owner, a painting for “The Orgy”. Sketch of costumes for “The Sisters Gérard”. 1927
Graphite pencil, ink, pen, watercolour, gouache on paper. 33 × 41.6 cm. Museum of Moscow Art Theatre. First publication
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Countess de Linières. Sketch of costumes for “The Sisters Gérard”. 1927
ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. Countess de Linières. Sketch of costumes for “The Sisters Gérard”. 1927
Graphite pencil, watercolour, ink, pen on paper. 30.9 × 43.8 cm. Museum of Moscow Art Theatre. First publication
A scene from the play “The Sisters Gérard”. Countess de Linières – Yelizaveta Telesheva. 1927
A scene from the play “The Sisters Gérard”. Countess de Linières – Yelizaveta Telesheva. 1927
Photograph. Museum of Moscow Art Theatre. First publication

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