In last week's "What's in Their Library" feature, Todd Romano named two books which feature the charming illustrations of Alexandre Serebriakoff, a Russian born artist who painted interior scenes for the likes of Charles de Beistegui and Baron de Redé.
One of the books Todd mentioned,Alexis: The Memoirs of the Baron de Rede, is one that I'm fortunate enough to own. The book is an autobiographical account of the Baron's life amongst the glittering world of European high society. While the book is most definitely an interesting read, the most memorable part of it is the inclusion of Serebriakoff's work. de Redé commissioned Serebriakoff to render paintings of the interiors of the Hôtel Lambert- the Baron's refined and elegant hotel particulier. In my opinion, Serebriakoff's paintings give the rooms a warmth and charm that is lacking in actual photographs of the interiors. Not that de Redé's home wasn't beautiful- it was; in fact, it was exquisite. It was just a bit too cold and grand for me.
Fortunately, de Redé also commissioned Serebriakoff to immortalize scenes from his Bal Oriental. The costume party, which de Redé says was one of the most legendary parties of the twentieth century, was an Eastern fantasy. Serebriakoff captured the colorful event with paintings of elephants, Nubians, and Chinese umbrellas. It certainly must have been some party!
Salles des Muses, Hôtel Lambert
The Drawing Room at the Hôtel Lambert
The Library, Hôtel Lambert
Serebriakoff's paintings of Le Bal Oriental, 1969.
Image at top: Serebriakoff's portrait of Alexis, Baron de Redé, dressed for his Oriental Ball.