1881 – 1958
Serge Ferat was born Sergei Nikolaevitch Yastrebzov and belonged to an aristocratic Russian family. He settled in Paris in 1901 attending, like so many other now famous artists, the classes of Bouguereau at the Academie Julian. In the years preceding the Great War he eventually ended gravitating around the usual suspects of the Montmartre gang, becoming close friends with another stateless exile of East European origins, Apollinaire, who would confer him his French name and commission him what would become his most famous work, the set and costume designs for the Surrealist play Les mameles de Tiresias, performed in the presence of a bandaged Apollinaire, back from the front with a head wound, on a legendary riotous night of 1917. He was for some years in a relationship with Irene Lagut, Picasso’s mistress before his marriage to Olga, through whom he absorbed further Picasso’s ideas and visions.