High Society Model and WWI Nurse 1914-1920

Le Barbarie by Léon Baskt

Hers was the gift of driving (Baskt's) imagination to exasperation. She held for him the all-powerful attraction of the strange, of the unreal, of the supernatural. His muse, perhaps that is not the right term, his friendly demon. -- André Levinson, Russian critic
Vicki Woolf

Detail of Portrait by Valentin Serov 1910
(Commissioned by Ida Rubinstein)
ABC Gallery

Portrait by Léon Baskt

Léon Baskt produced literally hundreds of images of his patron and friend, this Ashkinazi beauty whom he referred to as la belleza in letters to de Montesquiou.
Ida Rubinstein by A. de la Gandara 1913 Detail of Portrait by Antonio de la Gandara 1913
(Commissioned by Count Robert de Montesquiou)

JSS Virtual Gallery

In the gray harmony which envelops Mlle. Ida Rubinstein, the face, stern and contracted, with sharp relief, becomes tragic with its restrained anguish and ardour -- Camille La Senne (writing about this painting in 1914) Michael de Cossart

Ida's dress by haute coterie clothiers Maison Worth.
Ida Rubinstein c)1911
Digitally Colorized Photograph of Ida Rubinstein
Original by Romaine Brooks(?) circa 1911

Andros on Ballet
Ida Rubinstein by R. Brooks c)1914
Detail of La Venus triste (The Weeping Venus)
Romaine Brooks circa 1916
JSS Virtual Gallery
1914-1920; World War One delivers a mortal blow to the aristocratic society of her birth, and changes European culture forever. Ida Rubinstein turns the Carlton Hotel into a hospital for wounded Allied troops, and takes her new responsibilites very seriously.She helps Bernhardt through a serious health crisis, and studies acting with her.
She raises money for charity by public performances of
de Montesquiou's strident wartime poetry from Offrandes blessees, and one performance of Act IV of Racine's Phedre at the Paris Opera in 1917.
During her first decade as a resident of Paris she is also a model for several high-society artists -- including photographer Auguste Bert, Leon Baskt, Romaine Brooks, Antonio de la Gandara, and Valentin Serov.
Ida's cousin/husband demands a divorce in 1917, after hearing about her affairs with Romaine Brooks and Walter Guinness.
A private detective fails to find any legal evidence, and Vladmir Horwitz leaves Paris. Ida will remain alienated from her family.
Ida Rubenstein by Romaine Brooks 1914
La France Croisée (Red Cross) by Romaine Brooks 1914
Rubinstein would recite poetry from de Montesquiou's Offrandes blessees in public performances wearing her actual nurse's uniform, designed by Léon Baskt.
Ida Rubinstein by Romaine Brooks 1918
Portrait of Ida Rubinstein by Romaine Brooks 1918
Romaine's portrait of Ida in black, white, and grey ... walking through the Bois de Boulogne ... looking as Jean Cocteau saw her, 'like the pungent perfume of some exotic essence, ethereal, otherworldly, divinely unattainable'. -- Meryle Secrest 1976 Michael de Cossart