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Autumn (Vase). 1906

Bakst Léon,
Gouache and watercolour on paper mounted on canvas
116 х 73

State Russian Museum

Пост. в 1985, дар семьи Б. Н. Окунева, Ленинград


This painting offers an excellent example of how the World of Art regarded a work of art as an aesthetic game. Placing his “portrait” of the deceptively anthropomorphic vase in the foreground, Léon Bakst diverts the viewer’s attention away from the small and sorrowful figures making their solitary ways along the winding paths. These two doll-like figures are intended to represent the artist and his wife Lyubov Gritsenko. This lyrical charade tells the story of the complex upheavals of the artist’s personal life.

Author's Biography

Bakst Léon

Bakst, Leon (Lev Samoilovich)
1866, Hrodno - 1924, Paris
Painter, graphic artist, theatrical designer. Studied at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1883-87) and the Atelier dc Jean Louis Gerome and Academic de Rodolphe Julian in Paris (1893-96). Taught at the Elizaveta Zwantseva School of Drawing and Painting in St Petersburg (1906-09). Member of the Society of Russian Waterecolourists (1891-1907), World of Art (1899-1903, 1906, 1913) and the Union of Russian Artists (1903-1910). Life member of the Salon d''''Automne (from 1906). Academician (1914). Contributed to many exhibitions of theatrical design and one-man shows. Designed sets and costumes for the Mariinsky Theatre and Alexandrinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, Paris Opera and theatres in London and New York. Leading designers of Sergei Diaghilev''''s Ballets Russes (from 1909) and the ballet companies of Anna Pavlova and Ida Rubinstein. Emigrated to Paris (1909).

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