Monday, 17 January 2022

Léon Bakst - part 7

A much underestimated figure in Russian art, Leon Bakst is best known for the decorative art which he created for Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballet Russes. Fired by his love of colour, his brightly painted sets and richly coloured costumes combined extravagant designs with refined details to convey a heady atmosphere of Slavonic orientalism. This mixture of modern art with traditional Russian folk art inspired dancers and audiences alike. He became artistic director for Diaghilev in 1909, and his stage designs rapidly brought him international fame. Among his finest creations were the designs for Tchaikovsky's ballet Sleeping Beauty (London, 1921). Bakst also excelled at graphic art, indeed his first real success came in 1898 after he co-founded the influential "World of Art" group, sponsored by Savva Mamontov (1841-1918), and took charge of the illustration of the group's "World of Art" periodical. His exceptional talent at drawing and sketching is exemplified by his pen and ink drawing of Isadora Duncan (1908, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford).

Although less well-known than many of his contemporaries, Bakst remains one of the most influential of Russian artists, and was chiefly responsible for the visual impact of the Ballets Russes. He revolutionised the design of theatrical scenery and costumes, and ranks among the most influential modern artists of the early 20th century.

For full biographical notes on Bakst see part 1, and for earlier works, see parts 1 - 6 also.

This is part 7 of 9 on the works of Léon Bakst:


1916-1923 La Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty) aka The Sleeping Princess by Charles Perrault, continued from part 6:

n.d. Costume design for La Belle au bois dormant: Le Prince Charming
pencil, watercolour and gouache, heightened with gold and silver, on paper 31.3 x 19.5 cm



n.d. Costume design for La Belle au Bois Dormant:
 Un Courtisan
pencil and watercolour, heightened with gold, on paper
29.5 x 23 cm

n.d. Costume design for La Belle au Bois Dormant

n.d. Costume design for La Belle au Bois Dormant:
 Fée de Richesse
pencil and watercolour, heightened with silver and gold
28 x 20.3 cm

n.d. Costume design for La Bonne Fée in La Belle au Bois Dormant
pencil and watercolour heightened with gold on paper laid on board

n.d. Costume design for La Belle au Bois Dormant

n.d. Costume design for La Belle au Bois Dormant

n.d. Costume design for La Belle au Bois Dormant

 n.d. Costume design for La Belle au Bois Dormant; Le Bouffon Russe
pencil, watercolour and gouache on paper 67 x 48.2 cm

n.d. Costume design for La Belle au Bois Dormant: Le page de la fée Sorbier
pencil, watercolour and gouache on paper 67 x 48.2 cm

n.d. Costume design for La Belle au Bois Dormant
pencil, watercolour and gold leaf on paper 26 x 21 cm

n.d. Costume design for La Belle au Bois Dormant: Le petit Paysan
pencil and watercolour, heightened with white, on paper laid down on card 28.4 x 17.6 cm

n.d. Costume design for La Belle au Bois Dormant: Galisson, le professeur du prince
pencil and watercolour, heightened with gold, on paper
42.3 x 28.5 cm

1921 Costumes for La Belle au Bois Dormant  
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

1921 Set design for La Belle au Bois Dormant: Rideau
pencil and watercolour on paper 49 x 32.8 cm

n.d. Set design for La Belle au Bois Dormant: La Poussée des Lilas
pencil and watercolour on paper laid down on board
 47 x 60.5 cm


1917-1921 La Boutique Fantasque (The Magic Toyshop)
by Léonide Massine:

1917 Costume design for a Doll in La Boutique Fantasque
lithograph reproduction of a gouache drawing dated 1917
19.7 x 13.2 cm Philadelphia Museum od Art, PA

1917 Costume design for Woman in a Black Coat in La Boutique Fantasque
watercolour and graphite, with touches of gouache, on ivory laid down on board 44.9 x 29.5 cm
Art Institute of Chicago, IL

1917 Costume design for Young Woman in Red Bonnet in La Boutique Fantasque
watercolour and graphite with gouache, on ivory laid paper laid down on board 44.8 x 29.4 cm
Art Institute of Chicago, IL

1918 Costume design for La Boutique Fantasque: une poupée française
pencil, watercolour and gouache on paper 45 x 29.8 cm

1918 Costume design for La Boutique Fantasque
pencil, watercolour and gouache heightened with gold on paper laid on board

1918 Costume Design for Man in a Brown Suit in La Boutique Fantasque
watercolour and graphite with gouache, on ivory laid paper laid down on board 48.8 x 33.1 cm
Art Institute of Chicago, IL

1918 Costume design for the Russian Doll in La Boutique Fantasque
pencil, watercolour and gouache on paper 48.5 x 32.5 cm

1918 Costume design for Woman with a Lorgnette in Ballet Boutique Fantasque
watercolour and graphite, with touches of gouache and gold metallic paint, on ivory laid paper, laid down on board 45 x 29.4 cm Art
Institute of Chicago, IL

n.d. Costume design for La Boutique Fantasque: Un marin
pencil and watercolour on paper 48.8 x 33 cm

1918-24 Set design for the La Boutique Fantasque
watercolour and gouache, over graphite, on off-white laid paper, laid down on board 45.8 x 62.5 cm
Art Institute of Chicago, IL

1921 The Sleeping Princess
Adaptation of La Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty) by Serge Diaghilev:

1921 Costume design for Princess Aurore in The Sleeping Princess
pencil and watercolour highlighted with gold paint

1921 Costume design for Columbine in The Sleeping Princess
pencil and watercolour, heightened with gold, on paper 28.9 x 21.9 cm

1921 Costume design for a Courtier in The Sleeping Princess

1921 Costume design for a Minister of State in scene 1 of The Sleeping Princess
graphite, watercolour, gouache and gold paint on laid paper 30.6 x 23.4 cm
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

1921 Costume Design for the Blue Bird in The Sleeping Princess

1921 Costume design for The Sleeping Princess

1921 Costume design for a Duke in The Sleeping Princess
watercolour cutout applied to paper 35.5 x 24.1 cm
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA

1921 Costume design for Porphyrophore in The Sleeping Princess
pencil, watercolour, and metallic paint on paper 44.6 x 29.3 cm
MoMa, New York

1921 Costume design for the Good Fairy in The Sleeping Princess
 pencil and watercolour highlighted with gold paint

1921 Costume design for Princess Aurore in The Sleeping Princess
pencil and watercolour

1922 Costume design for The Sleeping Princess

n.d. Costume designs for The Sleeping Princess 


 n.d. Costume design for The Sleeping Princess
watercolour and pencil heightened with silver on paper

1921 Costume and Allanova as a Duchess in The Sleeping Princess
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA

1921 Costume for a Green Page in The Sleeping Princess
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA

1921 Costume for Hilda Bewicke as a Baroness in The Sleeping Princess, Scene 3: Woman's Ensemble
 Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA

1921 Costume for Rosenstein as a Marchioness in The Sleeping Princess, Scene 3: Woman's Ensemble
 Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA

1921 Costume for Roziarsky as a Duke in The Sleeping Princess
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA

A Blue Velvet Coat for one of the Lackeys in The Sleeping Princess

A Blue Velvet Coat for one of the Lackeys in The Sleeping Princess

Costume for one of the four Green Pages in The Sleeping Princess

Costume for one of the four Green Pages in The Sleeping Princess

Irena Plotnikova’s gown as a Lady in Waiting from Scene 1 of The Sleeping Princess

Irena Plotnikova’s gown as a Lady in Waiting from Scene 1 of The Sleeping Princess


1921 Set Design for the Baptism from The Sleeping Princess
watercolour over pencil on artist's board


1922 Moskva (Moscow):

1922 Costume design for Moskwa
 pencil, watercolour and gouache, heightened with silver and gold, on paper 66.2 x 42.2 cm

1922 Costume design for Moskwa: Peasant Woman
pencil, watercolour and gouache, heightened with silver, on paper 68 x 48.5 cm

1922 Costume design for Moskva: Woman
pencil and watercolour on paper 49 x 33 cm

Costume design for Moskva: Young Woman
pencil and watercolour on paper 49 x 33 cm

c1916 Poster for a Dance Recital by Caryathis (Elise Jouhandeau)
colour lithograph 223.5 x 127 cm
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

1918 Madame Marion 

1921 Portrait of Robert, 1st Marquess of Crewe
pencil on paper


1921 Costume design for Act II of Le Prince Anglais
watercolour and pencil heightened with gold and silver on paper 11.2 x 8.5 cm

1922 Costume design for L'adoration: Maria Kuznetsova
pencil and gouache on paper 28.9 x 21.4 cm

n.d. Costume design foe Mavra
pencil, gouache, and gold paint on paper 67.9 x 49 cm