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La Nymphe de Diane. 1901

Bakst Léon,
Watercolour and graphite pencil on paper
28 х 21,1

State Russian Museum

Пост. в 1918 от А. П. Боткиной, Петроград; ранее — собрание С. С. Боткина,


Designing for Clément Léo Délibes’s ballet Sylvia, Valentin Serov, Alexander Benois and Léon Bakst rejected traditional ballet costumes in favour of the real attire of the ancient Greeks. Bakst’s La Nymphe de Diane is a ginger-haired beauty depicted in light movement with the enigmatic smile of an archaic kore. The short tunic, fastened with large buckles at the bases of her thick arms and the light sandals on her feet are Bakst’s tribute to ancient Greek fashion. The combinations of soft-green and gold tones and the supple, plastic line of the drawing reflect the artist’s aspiration towards classical clarity.

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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