Bouchene Dmitry Dmitrievich

BOUCHENE Dmitry Dmitrievich

April 26, 1893 (Saint-Tropez) — February 6, 1993 (Paris)

Painter, graphic artist, scene-designer

Dmitry Bouchene came from a famous aristocratic family. In 1895 his family moved to Russia. He lost his mother very early; he was grown up in the family Kuzmin-Karavaev. Dmitry Bouchene was cousin and friend of husband of the poetess Elizaveta Kuzmina-Karavaeva, in future nun Maria, which wrote memoirs about Silver Age, in particular about A. Blok. In 1912 Bouchene finished gymnasium in St. Petersburg; there he became friends with the future art historian S. Ernst. The director of the school N. Rerikh paid attention to Dmitry Bouchene.

Bouchene was sent to Paris for practical trainings. There he attended the Académie Ranson; met avant-garde artists M. Denis, H. Matisse.

After return to St. Petersburg, in 1913 Bouchene entered the faculty of history and philology at the University. At the same time he studied at the Drawing school under the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (OPKh). In 1915–1917 he worked as an assistant of curator in the museum of OPKh.

Bouchene was a member of the group Mir Iskusstva (“World of Art”); since 1917 he actively exposed his works at the exhibitions of the group. He also took part in the exhibitions Russian landscape, the First State Independent Art Exhibition, the exhibitions of bookplate in Petrograd and in Kazan, and the exhibition of Russian Art in America.

Bouchene was engaged in easel painting (still lifes, landscapes), book graphic art; he also created scene design for performances. His style of painting was close to art of the 18th century: motifs and methods of Guardi’s and Canaletto’s painting, Sèvres wares and Venetian glass.

During Revolution Bouchene hid in the apartment of A. Benois. Later he actively participated in social life. He designed ex-libris in style of Mir Iskusstva (“World of Art”) for the publishing house Akvilon. Till 1925, before his emigration to Paris, Bouchene worked as a junior curator of the State Hermitage Museum in the porcelain department. Under pretence of necessity of treatment, Bouchene left Soviet Russia.

Abroad Bouchene drew textile designs and styled clothes for the French fashion houses Patou, Ricci, Lanvin and Lelong. In late 1920s Bouchene drew costume designs for Anna Pavlova.

Till the end of his life Bouchene drew in pastel and gouache. He created small pictures: flowers, still lifes, scenes of theatre and circus life, landscapes of France, Italy, and Venice.

Since 1930s Bouchene collaborated with choreographers D. Balanchin, M. Fokin, L. Myasin, R. Petit and S. Lifar. He created costume designs for the ballets Semiramis, Diane de Poitiers and Waltz for performances of Ida Rubinstein in the Grand Opera (1934–1935); scene designs for the ballet Elements to music of J. S. Bach for performances of the Russian Ballet Monte Carlo in London (choreography by Fokin, 1937); scene designs for the opera Eugene Onegin by P. I. Tchaikovsky for the Amsterdam Opera Theatre (1955). Bouchene worked a lot for big European opera theatres: the Grand Opera, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Russian Ballet, Berlin Opera, La Scala etc. Bouchene continued traditions of Mir Iskusstva (“World of Art”) in all his scene designs.

During the World War II, Bouchene lived in Paris; he together with mother Maria took part in the French Resistance.

In 1950s–1970s Bouchene exposed his paintings and theatre sketches at the personal and group exhibitions. In 1982 his first exhibition-auction was held in Nouveau Drouot. In 1991 the exhibition of his works was organized in the State Hermitage Museum.

Works by Dmitry Bouchene are in many museum and private collections, including the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Museum of Modern Art and the Opera Museum in Paris.

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