LEON BASKT (1866 - 1924)
Russian Art Deco Designer & Illustrator who revolutionized theatrical design both in scenery and in costume.
Bakst attended the Imperial Academy of Arts at St Petersburg, but completed his studies in Paris. Back in Russia, he began to design scenery in 1900, first at the Hermitage Court Theatre and then at the Imperial Theatres.
In 1906 he went to Paris, where he began designing stage sets and costumes for Diaghilev’s newly formed ballet company, the Ballets Russes. The first Diaghilev ballet for which he designed decor was Cléopâtre (1909).
(Costume for Ida Rubinstein as Cleopatre, 1909)
(costume design for the Ballet Sleeping Princesses)
Bakst achieved international fame with his sets and costumes, in which he combined bold designs and sumptuous colours with minutely refined details to convey an atmosphere of picturesque, exotic Orientalism.