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Status, price and estimation of the artist Alexandre BENOIS
Price of a signed painting: 1,000 – 40,000€.
Estimate for a drawing or watercolour by the artist at auction: 300 – 8,000€.
A reserved artist with a passion for the stage
Born in 1870 in St. Petersburg and died in 1969 in Paris, Alexandre Nikolaïevitch Benois is an artist known for having been a renowned painter, decorator and scenographer. Of French origin, his family was renowned, including many architects such as his father, his brother and his grandfather who worked for the Imperial Court.
Alexandre Benois began by studying law at the Saint Petersburg faculty from which he graduated in 1894. But he also had a passion for art, particularly painting, which he practised, and was noticed at the end of the 19th century. He then worked as a stage director and illustrator, and created sets for major ballets and theatres. He moved to Paris in 1926 where he worked for major institutions such as the Opera and the Comédie Française, and then abroad for Covent Garden in London and La Scala in Milan. He never stopped painting until his death.
Support from leading figures in Russian art
Although he was not destined for an artistic career, Alexandre Benois was spotted for his watercolour paintings “Last Walks of Louis XIV” by Serge de Diaghilev, famous in the world of show business, and the painter, decorator and costume designer Léon Bakst. With them, he founded the magazine Mir Iskusstva in 1899, an avant-garde art journal that was to influence the Russian school of painting by giving pride of place to individualism and personality in art.
This conception was even to influence the rest of Europe, through the diffusion of the great Russian ballets. Alexandre Benois was responsible for the costumes and sets of many of them, such as Giselle and The Nutcracker.
Numerous illustrations on the art market
Alexander Nikolayevich Benois produced numerous monographs, especially on the themes of Russian art, but also on the city of Pushkin, as well as illustrations in addition to the paintings and stage decorations to which he devoted most of his time.
Many of his paintings and drawings are on the art market, with prices ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand euros or dollars. For example, drawings illustrating ballet characters, such as “Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty” or “The Lilac Fairy from Sleeping Beauty” are estimated at between 1,000 and 1,200 euros each, or costumes such as “Costume for Sadko, silver fish” estimated at between 5 and 7,000 euros.
Many paintings depicting stage sets are also on the auction market, such as “Décor de théâtre. La chambre d’Anne” between 1,500 and 2,000 euros, or the watercolour “Décor de Giselle” between 3,000 and 3,500 euros. In addition to the sets, there are also a number of landscape paintings, such as “St. Petersburg, the Equestrian Statue of Peter the Great” and “Mountainous Landscape through the Trees”, estimated at 1,000 to 2,000 euros, and the watercolour “View of a Park” at 3,000 to 5,000 euros.
Some of his paintings fetch quite considerable prices such as “The Palace of Montplaisir at Peterhof” estimated at £15-20,000, and even a record price for a colourful painting in blue tones depicting a stage decoration for the ballet “Petrushka” estimated at €90,000-100,000 in Monaco in 2018.
Recognising Alexandre Benois’s signature
Like many artists, Alexandre Benois did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of the signatures to give you an idea. Variations of these signatures do exist, do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to formally authenticate a signature.
Appraise and sell a painting by Alexandre Benois
If you own an Alexandre Benois painting or any other sculpture, ask for a free estimate via our online form.
You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your painting. In the event of a sale, our specialists will also advise you on the various options available to sell your work at the best price.