Léon Bakst

Jewish painter, graphic artist, theatrical designer, fashion designer, teacher. Born Leib Chaïm Israelevich (Lev Samoilovich) Rosenberg in the town of Grodno (Hrodna) in White Russia (1866). Studied under Pavel Chistyakov and Carl Wenig at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1883–87) and at the studio of the Finnish painter Albert Edelfelt, Atelier de Jean-Léon Gérôme and the Académie de Rodolphe Julian in Paris (1893–96). Member of the Society of Russian Watercolourists (1891–1907), World of Art (1899–1903, 1906, 1913) and the Union of Russian Artists (1903–10), life member of the Salon d’Automne in Paris (from 1906). Collaborated with the Artistic Treasures of Russia, Libra, Golden Fleece, Apollo and other magazines. Designed sets and costumes for the Mariinsky Theatre and Alexandrinsky Theatre in St Petersburg (from 1902). Awarded the Légion d’honneur (1906). Taught at the Elizaveta Zvantseva School of Painting and Drawing in St Petersburg (1906–10). Emigrated to Paris (1909). Artistic director of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes (1911–17) and the ballet companies of Anna Pavlova and Ida Rubinstein. Academician of painting (1914). Worked for theatres in Paris, London and New York (from 1917). Died in Paris and buried at the Cimetière des Batignolles (1924).

Contributed to exhibitions (from 1890). Contributed to the Exhibition of Russian and Finnish Artists in St Petersburg (1898) and the exhibitions of the Munich Sezession (1899, 1903), Vienna Sezession (1908), World of Art (1899–1903, 1902, 1906, 1913), Modern Art (1902–03), Union of Russian Artists (1903–10), Salon d’Automne in Paris (1906–08, 1911), Society of Free Aesthetics in Brussels (1912), Exposition Universelle et Internationale in Brussels (1910, gold medal), international exhibitions in Venice (1907, 1914) and Rome (1911), exhibitions of Russian art at the Salon d’Automne in Paris (1906, 1910), Berlin (1906) and Vienna (1908), group exhibitions of Russian artists in Paris (1921) and New York (1923, 1924) and one-man shows in Paris (1911, 1925, 1928, 1957), London (1912, 1913, 1914, 1917, 1927, 1976), Berlin (1913, 1927), Stockholm (1913), New York (1913, 1914, 1916, 1920, 1922), Boston (1914), Philadelphia (1914), Chicago (1914, 1923), Los Angeles (1924), Baltimore (1924), Brussels (1926) and Leningrad/St Petersburg (1966, 1992).

Random articles