Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Vernon and Misia...Artist and Muse

 Misia Sert (1872 - 1950),
Model, Patron, Mistress, Muse, Cultural Arbiter
of fin de siecle Paris.
She inspired Lautrec, Renoir, Bonnard, Vuillard,
Ravel, Diaghilev.
 Misia on the left...and Toulouse Lautrec's painting of her
for a poster...

 She began as a pianist, in a musical family, 
and supported herself as a teacher and accompanist in the early days.
Here, another Lautrec of Misia at the piano.

 Here as painted by Bonnard...
and below by Renoir.

 A photo by Bonnard...
and below, the album cover
of the Vernon Duke/Barry Singer musical,
with Marin Mazzie as Misia.

 Vladimir Aleksandrovich Dukelsky, aka Vernon Duke,
grew up in Minsk in 1903...and wrote a wide variety of 
ballets, concertos and theatrical music.
He became a great friend of George Gershwin, who encouraged him to 
Americanize his name.
After working in London and Paris, he moved to America
and composed many a wonderful song 
("April In Paris," "Autumn In New York," "I Can't Get Started")
and Broadway shows...his greatest success, "Cabin In The Sky."
An unproduced "French score" was salvaged by his wife, Kay McCracken...
and with Barry Singer as its champion, 
Misia The Musical has seen the light of day.

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