Painted by de La Gandara MADAM IDA RUBINSTEIN
Creator of "La Pisanelle"
Gown by Worth
(Return to Ida 1912-1914)

Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien
and the height of Belle Epoch Paris

...The public, however, was more interested in scandal and sexually irreverent art than in their immortal souls, and defying the archbishop, showed up in droves. Opening night brought out, as had Diaghilev's premieres, an illustrious audience that included Isadora Duncan, Marcel Proust, and Jean Cocteau. What they witnessed was astonishing -- all six hours of it.
...The play was scheduled for twelve performances, alternating at the Chatelet with the third Paris season of the Ballets Russes.
...Complaining to Astruc, Diaghilev declared dramatically, "we have been sacrificed to the work of Rubinstein and d'Annunzio."
  Ida exacebated the impressario's resentment in 1912 when she agreed to perform the lead Nymph in Nijinski's new ballet L'Apres-midi d'un Faune and then promptly withdrew from rehearsals.
...(Ida) chose her roles from a distinguished pantheon of women --
There was Helen of Troy in Helene de Sparta, and two more versions of the Salome story...
In 1913 there was another five-hour D'Annunzian extravaganza, La Pisanelle, ou Le Mort Parfumee, which found Ida as a courtesan turned nun, pelted to death by a storm of roses. The public stayed away.

                                        Toni Bentley

Many thanks to Xavier Mathieu at Antonio de La Gandara's Website