Wadsworth Atheneum


In 1909 artist Leon Bakst (1866-1924) moved from his native Russia to Paris. He was immediately made a member of the core group at the Ballets Russes, along with impresario Serge Diaghilev, designer Alexander Benoisk, and ballet master Mikhail Fokine. In his first season, his set designs caused a great sensation, resulting in his ever-increasing popularity. He created more and more of the company's costume and stage designs in the next few seasons. 

Although he became the production director of the Ballets Russes in the years following, less and less of the decor and designs were his. His movement into the background paralleled that of the group itself, which never re-created the sensational impact of its first few seasons in Paris. He died in Paris in 1924, and in 1929 the Ballets Russes disbanded. 

The four illustrations selected for this notecard assortment are reproduced from The Decorative Art of Leon Bakst (1913), held in the collection of the Museum of Performance + Design, San Francisco. All are from the peak years of Bakst's work with the Ballets Russes.

20 notecards, 5 each of 4 images.

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