Water Parterre in Versailles 1905

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    Benois was making a serious study of various aspects of Versailles and was not too interested in returning to Russia and did not respond to a letter that he received from Diaghilev which stated -
    .....I am now working on a magazine in which I hope to unite the whole of our artistic life, that is, as illustrations I shall use real painting, the articles will be outspoken, and then in the name of the magazine. I propose to organize a series of annual exhibitions, and finally, to attract to the magazine the new industrial art which is developing in Moscow and Finland.

    The other members of the 'World of Art' responded immediately but from Benois there was no response. Another letter from Diaghilev arrived and this time it was in the half-bullying, half coaxing way that he pulled together the Ballet-Russe de Serge Diaghilev-

    .....In the same way that I am unable to ask my parents to love me, so I am unable to ask you to sympathize and help me in my enterprise- not as a support and blessing, but directly, single-mindedly and in a creative way. In a word I am not able to argue or ask you for anything, and O God, there's no time, or I would come and wring your neck. That's all, and I hope the frank and brotherly tone of my abuse will shake you out of yourself and that you will cease to be a foreigner and spectator and will quickly put on your dirty overalls like the rest of us.

    From "The Russian Experiment in Art: 1863-1922" by Camilla Gray.

    Benois packed up and returned to Russia and the 'World of Art' group in Moscow..

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