All the World's a Stage at Bonhams Encore Sale in London

London – There's something about the stage that has a special kind of allure. The theatricality, fantasy, and mirroring of different realities have inspired generations of artists, writers, and performers. This intimate relationship between the arts and the stage is explored in Bonhams new sale, Encore! Modern Art on Stage, which runs online on until 10 December. Bringing together costume and stage designs, paintings, works on paper, prints, video and photography from around the turn of the 20th century to the present day, this dedicated sale will showcase the intersections between art and theatre, ballet, dance, music, and the circus. Amongst the sale highlights are 79 gouache studies by Erté for Acts I, II and III of der Rosenkavalier (estimate: £18,000-25,000 per act), and Tête De Clown by Bernard Buffet, (estimate of £60,000-80,000).

Hannah Noel-Smith, Bonhams Head of Sale, commented: "The world of theatre, ballet, music and the circus have long been a significant source of inspiration for artists – and indeed those worlds have always been intertwined. From set designs to costumes, artists have left their mark on the stage and preserved a fragment of performances long after the curtain falls. This exciting sale captures the enticing nature of the theatrical world, and reveals its undeniable influence on modern art."

Other highlights of the sale include:

Natalia Osipova: Triptych. As part of the sale Bonhams will be offering the world's first non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for ballet. World-famous ballerina Natalia Osipova, the principal dancer at The Royal Ballet in London, has performed three pieces, two from the classic ballet Giselle and one from the contemporary duet Left behind, which she dances alongside Jason Kittelberger. The NFTs are Giselle, The entrance of Act II – Video from November 2021 exclusive for NFT (Estimate: £8,000 – 12,000), Giselle, Solo of Act II – Video from November 2021 exclusive for NFT (Estimate: £8,000 – 12,000) and Left behind – Video of live show in Mexico 2019; choreographed by Jason Kittelberger (Estimate: £30,000- 50,000).

Roberto Marcello Baldessari (1894-1965), Ballerina (Sintesi Plastica). Estimate: £28,000-35,000.

Raoul Dufy (1877-1953), Esquisse De Musiciens. Estimate: £20,000-30,000.

Erté (Romain de Tirtoff) (1892-1990), 26 Studies for Act I of 'der Rosenkavalier'. Estimate: £18,000-25,000.

Henri Matisse (1869-1954), Hat for a Court Lady (Lantern-bearer) From 'le Chant Du Rossignol'. Hand painted silk skullcap with glass-bead fringing. Executed for the world premiere of the ballet at the Paris Opéra on 2 February 1920. The production by Sergei Diaghilev, music by Igor Stravinsky, choreography by Léonide Massine and set design and costumes by Henri Matisse. Estimate: £12,000-18,000.

Sally Soames (1937-2019), Rudolf Nureyev. Gelatin silver print. Estimate: £800-1,200.


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