Leon Bakst born as Leyb-Khaim Izrailevich (later Samoylovich) Rosenberg was a painter and scene and costume designer. He was a member of the Sergei Diaghilev circle and the Ballets Russes, for which he designed exotic, richly coloured sets and costumes. He studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. At the time of his first exhibition (1889) he took the surname of "Bakst," based on his mother's maiden name. From 1893 to 1897 he lived in Paris, where he studied at the Académie Julian.
After the mid-1890s, Bakst became a member of the circle of writers and artists formed by Sergei Diaghilev and Alexandre Benois, who in 1899 founded the influential periodical Mir iskusstva, meaning "World of Art". His graphics for this publication brought him fame.
Bakst created portraits of Philip Malyavin (1899), Vasily Rozanov (1901), Andrei Bely (1905), Zinaida Gippius (1906). He also worked as a drawing teacher for the children of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia.
In 1898, he showed his works in the Diaghilev-organized First Exhibition of Russian and Finnish Artists; in World of Art exhibitions, as well as the Munich Secession, exhibitions of the Union of Russian Artists, etc.
Beginning in 1909, Bakst worked mostly as a stage-designer, designing sets for Greek tragedies.Despite being known for his work as a stage designer, art was also commissioned by various English families during the Art Deco era.
"Sketch of the costume for the
During this time, he produced such works as the Sleeping Beauty series for James and Dorothy de Rothschild at Waddesdon Manor in 1913. The story is depicted in seven panels that line the walls of an oval, theatrical styled space in the Buckinghamshire manor house. During his visits to Saint Petersburg, he taught in Zvantseva's school, where one of his students was Marc Chagall (1908–1910).
In 1914, Bakst was elected a member of the Imperial Academy of Arts. In 1922, Bakst broke off his relationship with Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes. During this year, he visited Baltimore and, specifically Evergreen House - the residence of his American friend and patron, art philanthropist Alice Warder Garrett (1877–1952). Alice Garrett became Bakst's representative in the United States upon her return home in 1920, organizing two exhibitions of the artist's work at New York's Knoedler Gallery, as well as subsequent traveling shows
Bakst died on 27 December 1924, in a clinic in Rueil Malmaison, near Paris.
S.Diaghilev's Russian ballet
Beginning in 1909, Bakst worked mostly as a stage-designer, designing sets for Greek tragedies. In 1908, he gained attention as a scene-painter for Diaghilev with the Ballets Russes. He produced scenery for Cleopatra (1909), Scheherazade (1910), Carnaval (1910), Narcisse (1911), Le Spectre de la Rose (1911), L'après-midi d'un faune (1912) and Daphnis et Chloé (1912).
To create the illusory worlds of the Ballets Russes, Bakst worked out every detail on paper. He enriched his imagination through close study of the people, nature, and historical objects from private collections and museums he encountered during his travels, which allowed him to invoke a specific time and place for each individual production.
"Sketch of the costume for the ballet "Peri"
"Sketch of the scenery for the ballet "Afternoon rest of the Faun"
"Sketch of the costume for the ballet "Narcissus"
"Sketch of the costume for the ballet"Afternoon rest of the Faun"
"Sketch for I.Rubinstein for the ballet Cleopatra"
"Sketch of the scenery for the ballet "Scheherazade"
"Sketch of the costume of Potiphar's wife"
"Harlequin and Columbine.
The Ballet "Carnival"