Costume design for Salomé in ‘Dance of the Seven Veils’ (1908). Leon Bakst (Russian, 1866-1924). Oil on canvas. Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.
Ida Lvovna Rubinstein (Russian, 1885-1960) was a wealthy and beautiful actress, dancer, patron and Belle Époque figure who had, by the standard of Russian ballet, little formal training. Nevertheless, she proposed her role as Oscar Wilde’s Salomé, in which she would strip nude in the course of the Dance of the Seven Veils. Tutored by Mikhail Fokine, she made her debut in 1908 in a single private performance in which she stripped completely.