In 1910, the Ballets Russes introduced Scheherazade in Paris in to the music of Rimsky-Korsakov. “With its daring depiction of violence and Eastern sensuality… it tapped into the longstanding vogue for orientalism in French art and literature, while its erotic violent imagery tied in with the emerging cult of primitivism…” Ida Rubinstein and Nijinsky took the leads. Rubinstein was famed as a beautiful actress although she was less a dancer.
Girl Reading in a Salon (1876). Giovanni Boldini (Italian, Impressionism, 1842-1931). Oil on canvas.
In October 1871, Boldini began his Parisian career. Over the next twenty years Boldini explored many different subjects: small genre scenes, such as Girl Reading, as well as city views, suburban landscapes, and informal depictions of musicians, performers, and café-goers. Many of these same subjects appeared in the works of a group of avant-garde Impressionists, who came to prominence in the same period.