Saturday, August 8, 2020

Rambova's "Egyptian Woman"

 In 2017 we published Michael Morris posthumous book, Beyond Valentino – A Madam Valentino Addendum. In the course of my completing his work, it was necessary for me to secure many copyright permissions for images. I contacted the Roerich Foundation in New York in this regard and they were extremely helpful and even contributed additional images for our use. They also put me in touch with the Roerich expert in Moscow, Dr. Vladimir Rosov.

Dr. Rosov is writing a biography of Svetoslav Roerich and plans to include a chapter on Svetoslav's engagement to Natacha Rambova. Michael Morris knew about this three year engagement but did not include it in Madam Valentino on the request of the Roerich Foundation. This was something he sorely regretted.

In 2009, Michael Morris seized the opportunity while delivering his speech at the Convegno Valentino in Turin to amend this issue. He explained why he did not include this in Madam Valentino and how it was his belief Svetoslav Roerich was Natacha Rambova's “great love.”

Dr. Rosov verified the three year engagement and also informed me he had two other portraits painted by Svetoslav of Rambova. He was not ready to share these as I believe he will make them exclusive to his book. He did however share the rare colored sketch by Rambova of “The Egyptian Woman” (see below).

Although dated 1921... this design was the inspiration for an iconic scene in Valentino's movie, Cobra...the scene where the little statue comes to life. This incredible little watercolor had never been published before until we included it in Beyond Valentino.

Curiously Dr. Rosov once interviewed Michael Morris and this entire interview is included in the book. We had the article translated from the Russian and will no doubt do the same with the chapter Dr. Rosov includes in his book on the Svetoslav and Rambova love affair.

The Egyptian Woman”. Courtesy of Dr. Vladimir Rosov