Tête de Serge Diaghilev signed with initials (upper right) pen and ink on paper 27.2 x 20 cm. (10 3/4 x 8 in.) unframed
Larionov sketched this well-known face many times, most memorably implanting it on the body of a dog in caricatures of Diaghilev and his circle. The protruding brow, sharply inverted at the bridge of the nose, complemented by the plump lips, heavy jawline and trailing string of the monocle, succinctly suggest the profile of the director of the Ballets Russes. Larionov and Goncharova became heavily involved with the troupe from 1914 onwards, with Larionov appointed as supervisor of the choreography of Massine, Slavinsky and Lifar. Such integration brought forth from the artist many behind-the-scenes sketches, of which the offered lot is one. See also Larionov, Diaghilev et les Ballets Russes; dessins et Textes de Michel Larionov, La Bibliothèque des Arts, Paris, 1970.