Léon Bakst: Art of The Ballets Russes Boxed Notecards
Twenty assorted 5 x 7 in. blank notecards (5 each of 4 designs) with envelopes in a decorative box
Published with the Museum of Performance + Design
In 1909 artist Léon 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 Benois, and ballet master Mikhail Fokine. In his first season, Bakst’s set designs for Cleopatra caused a great sensation; with them began his ever-increasing popularity. Bakst created more and more of the company’s costume and stage designs in the next few seasons. In fact, he designed all productions for the 1912 season.
Although Bakst became the production director of the Ballets Russes in the years following, less and less of the décor and designs were his. Bakst’s movement into the background paralleled that of the group itself, which never re-created the sensational impact of its first few seasons in Paris. Bakst died in Paris in 1924, and with Diaghilev’s death in 1929 the Ballets Russes disbanded.
The four illustrations selected for this notecard assortment are reproduced from The Decorative Art of Léon 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.
Contains five each of the following notecards:
“La Sultane Bleue” from the ballet Scheherazade, 1910
“The Faun” from the ballet L’après-midi d’un faune, 1912
“Two Bacchantes” from the ballet Narcissus, 1911
“A Bacchante” from the ballet Narcissus, 1911