Finally, Bakst. Creator of glorious costumes for the Ballets Russes – and for Serov’s opera, Judith.
This is his sketch for Judith displaying the head of Holofernes.
So let me get a couple of things straight. This brief costume is going to be worn by a healthy operatic soprano in 1922 – like this:
Meanwhile the maid is going to be wrapped in towels until she appears to be wearing a burka?
Actually, this costume was designed for Madame Simone Le Bargy, nee Pauline Benda (1877-1985). She was featured in six different plays by Henri Bernstein over 20 years, including her first performance in 1902. She was in her 40’s at the time of the production of Judith, but maybe she was able to rock this costume – if she was immortal like Demi Moore. Or Cher.
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Book of Judith, Chapter 14
1THEN said Judith unto them, Hear me now, my brethren, and take this head, and hang it upon the highest place of your walls.
2 And so soon as the morning shall appear, and the sun shall come forth upon the earth, take ye every one his weapons, and go forth every valiant man out of the city, and set ye a captain over them, as though ye would go down into the field toward the watch of the Assyrians; but go not down.
3 Then they shall take their armour, and shall go into their camp, and raise up the captains of the army of Assur, and shall run to the tent of Holofernes, but shall not find him: then fear shall fall upon them, and they shall flee before your face.
4 So ye, and all that inhabit the coast of Israel, shall pursue them, and overthrow them as they go.
5 But before ye do these things, call me Achior the Ammonite, that he may see and know him that despised the house of Israel, and that sent him to us as it were to his death.