Dancers (1939). Maurice Brianchon (French, 1888-1979). Oil on canvas. Serge Lifar, the ballet master of the Paris Opera, invited Brianchon to design the sets for Francis Poulenc’s Les Animaux modèles. The work was staged at the Paris Opéra in 1942, with choreography by Lifar, who also danced in the premiere. The themes of the ballet are drawn from the Fables of Jean de La Fontaine.