All the world is a stage: Georges A. de Pogédaieff in Bologna

The Jealous Mistress, photo by Simo McGregor

Bologna - 3 June 2016 - Sofya Yunusova

Grigorij Anatolievich Pogedaieff (Georges A. de Pogédaïeff) was born in 1894 in one of the Southern Provinces of the Russian Empire, in Yalta. He took drawing classes from a famous Russian-Polish painter Yan Tsionglinsky before attending the Military School in Odessa. His further studies led him first to Moscow School of  Painting, Sculpture and Architecture and then to the Imperial Academy of Arts of Saint Petersburg. 

Ballet dancers, Pogédaieff  © Simo McGregor
Ballet dancers, Pogédaieff © Simo McGregor

In 1917 Pogédaïeff gave up his studies and became a theatre designer – a career which would dominate his artistic life for many years and place him at the heart of the exciting and vibrant world of the European stage. The artist started collaborating with the choreograph K. Goleyzovskiy with whom he realized numerous productions in Moscow theatres including the Bolshoj.  In the 1920s Pogédaïeff emigrated from his homeland and started working for various theatre troupes in Berlin, Bucharest and Vienna, designing sets and costumes for Prince Igor, Cyrano de Bergerac, Electra, Macbeth, Turandot and other productions. In that period he passed some time in Prague where he designed for the troupe of the Russian star Anna Pavlova.

Carmen, Pogédaieff.  © Simo McGregor
Carmen, Pogédaieff. © Simo McGregor

From 1925, Pogédaïeff lived permanently in Paris. He worked for Nikolai Baliev’s famous theatre The Bat, the first Russian cabaret. In 1937 Pogédaïeff abandoned stage design and concentrated on landscapes, still lifes and portraits. He illustrated Russian classics by Gogol, Pushkin, Lermontov, Dostoevsky, as well as the works of Paul Claudel. In 1953 Pogédaïeff was awarded the Legion of Honour. He exhibited in various occasions throughout Europe, mainly in Paris.

Pogédaïeff excelled in many different genres, but it is in his theatre designs where his unusual imagination can be seen in its most powerful form. Striking figures and lively, bold colours characterise Pogédaïeff’s highly individual sketches.


Dancers with boas, Pogédaieff  © Simo McGregor
Dancers with boas, Pogédaieff © Simo McGregor


The solo show of the works of Georges A. de Pogédaïeff is held in Hotel Commercianti in Bologna from 31 May to 15 September. Free entrance.


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