10.28.2009

A Person + A Place: Rudolf Nureyev

Has anyone seen the film Valentino (1977) with Rudolf Nureyev?  Watching it reminded me just how much I love Nureyev (1938-1993).  If you haven't, TRACK IT DOWN.  The tango scene with Nijinsky alone makes it worthwhile (most riveting tango between two men, ever),

Powerful dancer, impossibly gorgeous person:

Nureyev, photographed by Richard Avedon, 1961.


Nureyev, photographed by Richard Avedon, 1961.



Nureyev, in Le Corsaire, 1963.

And, because you can't really fully understand someone without seeing where he lives, I leave you with one of his residences: a house on his private island on the archipelago of Li Galli, off the Amalfi coast, in Italy.

The images are bittersweet; Nureyev passed away from AIDS only a few months after they were published in House & Garden, 1992.  The accompanying article gives no indication of his ailing health.  Perhaps it's just this knowledge that makes the house look exceptionally lonely in retrospect. It's beautiful, but somehow desolate, isn't it?








Scans from House & Garden, August 1992. Photographs by David Seidner.

14 comments:

Cristin said...

He was beyond talented! And impossibly gorgeous as you've described. The camera loved him with out a doubt. He is up there with Michelangelo's "David" in terms of perfection.

I don't even know where to start on his home. The colors, the textures, oh my! Love it. The rich blues and golds make me think of Islamic and Turkish art.

Maria Confer said...

What a stunning man and remarkable dancer!! He seemed to float in the air!

His house is beyond gorgeous and those colors and textures are amazing.

lululetty.blogspot.com

Jill said...

Love his di...gs!

pve design said...

I danced for many years and he was always on my mind, his grace, his energy and perfection.
pve

António Erre said...

nice inspiring blog
;-)

Landscape Designer said...

Wonderful post! PLEASE PLEASE tell me where I can fing that movie. Tried Blockbuster and Netfix and no luck. Thanks
Sandra

Lauren said...

Cristin- You know what's funny? His TOE really reminds me of some of the toes Michelangelo drew.. there was one in particular on his Sistine Chapel ceiling that's actually the spitting image of Nureyev's toe. They would have gotten along brilliantly.

Maria Confer- I love it too! Especially the enormous lamps. I'd really like to own those.

Jill- HA! Part of his appeal is definitely his overt sexuality. I think the portrait is a pretty fitting one.

PVE- Same here...I danced (ballet) all the way through college. It makes it all the more amazing how effortless he makes everything seem, even when SO much strength is involved, it's just amazing.

Antonio- thank you!

Landscape Designer- You can find a few used copies on Amazon...unfortunately they're selling for around $30.00! Other than that, it was on television not too long ago. Maybe it will come on again? I'll check the listings.

hannah elizabeth said...

he looks like a classical olympian!

i can just imagine him on that island - what an absolute paradise xx

The Haute-Shopper said...

He was incredibly amazing and I was always stunned by what he could do with his body. Few have mastered the art to dance like he did. Thanks for sharing the images of his residence. I do see what you mean about it being desolate and lonely... almost like no one had lived there in a while, despite the picture of him.

home before dark said...

Loved your comments on EEE's site. I think you elegantly and eloquently addressed the social implications of the Barbies and Nureyev. While I was having impish fun, I, like you, think sexuality is best address up front, so to speak. It is the life force of life and art.

Back to the last photo of Nureyev's portrait in the tribal robes/rugs. Reminded me of his friendship with English designer Tessa Kennedy. Her striped/tented foyer with the Afghanistan needlework is still a stunner. Several pieces of furniture once owned by Nureyev are in her home which is one my favorite interiors of all time.

So glad you have found Emily Evans Eerdmans' blog site. She, as one blogger noted, wears her knowledge lightly, but she is someone to read and learn from...and laugh with! In other words, one of the best.

Lauren said...

home before dark- The striped/tented foyer definitely rings a bell. I think I've seen it, but I'm going to look it up to be sure.

I've been reading EEE's blog for a little while now, and I agree with completely. It's ABSOLUTELY one of my favorites for exactly those reasons.

Big Daddy said...

Yes i agree, so beautiful to look at, but it seems like it would be lonely to live in!

kpeach said...

but that house could be so warm and full of life-the images remind me of DaVinci-very much about the male anatomy in a beautiful way. Have a wonderful weekend! xx

Karena said...

I asked Jamie Wyeth recently about his years working, sketching, paining Nureyev. Very interesting. I may do some studies from these images.

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