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Biography

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Overview (3)

Born in Oranienbaum, St. Petersburg Governorate, Russian Empire [now Lomonosov, Leningrad Oblast, Russia]
Died in Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Birth NameNikolai Alexandrovich Benois

Mini Bio (1)

Nicola Alexandrivoch Benois was born in 1901, in St Petersburg, Russia. His father, named Alexandre Benois, was a lawyer and the artist for the Imperial Mariinsky Opera House in St. Petersburg. The family lived in their grand mansion near the Opera House, which was built by grandfather Nikolai Benois. Nicola Benois studied art under his father and worked as scenographer and set designer for several of the Mariinsky Opera and Ballet productions.

He emigrated from Russia to Paris, France in 1923. There he worked for Sergei Diaghilev as a stage set designer for several of the "Russian Seasons" ballet productions. He later moved to Italy, following his father Alexandre Benois. There he worked as the principal scenographer at the Teatro alla Scala (La Scala). Nicola Benois collaborated with Luchino Visconti, the powerful producer of La Scala, who insisted on genuine period jewelery and the use of original period methods in creating and manufacturing of costumes and jewelery for the performing stars. Nicola Benois was the master of period-design, especially historical costumes and jewelery. His famous faux-diamond tiara of the Russian Princess was made for Maria Callas in 1956.

Nicola Benois created period-piece jewelery of remarkable finesse using Swarovski faux diamonds and colored crystals and shimmering artificial pearls. His period stage sets are fine examples of his mastery of line, form and color scheme. Nicola Benois' work was an important contribution to the success of La Scala during its 'golden era' in th 1950's and 1960's. Nicola Benois' stage-works are now exhibited as museum pieces and are studied by designers worldwide. He also made scenography for ballet and opera productions in theatres of Turin, Milan, Rome, and other theatres worldwide. Nicola Benois died in 1988, in Codripo, Italy.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

Spouse (2)

Mariya Nikolayevna Pavlova (1922 - ?) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
Disma De Cecco (? - 31 March 1988) ( his death)

Trivia (1)

Son of art director Alexandre Benois, father of actor Romano Benois.

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