Benito, Edoardo. (1891–1953 ) [Milhaud, Darius. (1892–1974)]
Le Boeuf sur le toit, .
Original artwork in watercolors and ink, signed center "Benito." 39 x 29 cm. A preliminary or related design for the pochoir published in the Gazette du Bon Ton, March, 1920. A client wearing a hat stands at the bar and is attended by a black bartender, "LE BOEUF SUR LE TOIT" is inscribed at the left in various alternating bright colors. Tipped at corners to another sheet, archivally matted and framed under UV-Plexi. Fine.
"Le boeuf sur le toit" is a surrealist ballet made on a score composed by Darius Milhaud, taking its title (and much musical inspiration) from an old Brazilian tango. Conceived originally to have been the score of a silent Charlie Chaplin film (Cinéma-fantaisie for violin and piano), it grew into a ballet with a scenario by Jean Cocteau, stage designs by Raoul Dufy, costumes by Guy-Pierre Fauconnet and a first performance which involved the famous Fratellini clowns from the Medrano circus. The premiere of the ballet was given in February 1920 at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and subsequently gave its name to a celebrated Parisian cabaret-bar, Le Boeuf sur le Toit, which became a meeting-place for Cocteau and his associates. "Although the history of Le Boeuf - both bar and ballet - is by now well known, the nightclub's emergence as a meeting ground for the haute monde and modernist artists merits further consideration here...The Ballet earned a coveted spot in the 'Gazette du Bon Ton,' where it was depicted in a pochoir illustration by Eduardo Benito in 1920." (Mary E. Davis, "Classic Chic: Music, Fashion, and Modernism," p. 220)