Wolfgang Beltracchi, 2017 (bottom left)
Portrait of Ida Rubinstein
Artistic voice: Kees van Dongen, 1909, Paris
Oil on canvas, 46 x 37.5 cm

Wolfgang Beltracchi, 2017 (middle)
Portrait of Igor Stravinsky
Artistic voice: Amedeo Modigliani, 1917, Paris
Oil on canvas, 72 x 55.5 cm

Wolfgang Beltracchi, 2017 (bottom right)
Vaslav Nijinsky in ‘Spectre de la Rose’ Costume
Artistic voice: Pablo Picasso, 1923, Paris
Oil on canvas, 60 x 50 cm 

Wolfgang Beltracchi, 2017 (top right)
Les Fâcheux
Artistic voice: Georges Braque, 1923, Paris
Collage, 47 x 39.5 cm

Wolfgang Beltracchi, 2017 (links oben)
Le Bal
Artistic voice: Giorgio de Chirico, 1929, Monte Carlo
Oil on canvas, 65 x 54 cm

»Portraying ballet, music and dance, in a painting? Surely an impossible task! And yet this is precisely the strength of fine art: it does not simply extract a single frame from a sequence of multiple images, it creates something that is highly condensed, uniting in a single work the subject matter, the moment in time and the potentiality. The human mind thinks in representative images. That is why fine art, which is so successful in this condensation process, is still so important today for symbolism, understanding and the connection to a kairos, the right moment. The avant-garde breaks with the past and with our habitual ways of viewing the world, our “visual habits”, and the viewer is prompted to rethink his or her ways of perceiving, opening up a much more elaborate field of perception. This is the promise of the “Ballets Russes” kairos: the combination of different avant-garde artistic styles, principles and persons to form a complete artwork puts up a barrier to an automatic mental processing of the image, thus honouring this kairos via forced elaboration and its resultant associations.«

Professor Claus-Christian Carbon, Otto-Friedrich University, Bamberg

The “Ballets Russes” ballet company established modern ballet in the years 1909-1929. The ensemble brought together the most diverse artists from the avant-garde movement. Stravinsky, for example, composed seven pieces for the ballet, including “Le sacre du printemps”, which was choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky and in 1913 caused one of the most infamous scandals in the world of music. Ida Rubinstein offered particular appeal with her sensual, libertine style of dance. Picasso worked on the creation of the set and the costumes on three occasions. Braque took on the same role for the performance of “Les Fâcheux” (1924), which was inspired by the Italian Commedia dell’arte theatrical form, as did de Chirico, who borrowed his designs for “Le Bal” from his own Pittura metafisica style of metaphysical art.