Rosenberg Lev Samoylovich called Bakst was a painter and a stage designer of Belorussian birth. He was born in
He began his professional life as a copyist and illustrator of teaching materials but quickly moved on to illustration of popular magazines. His tastes were influenced and horizons enlarged when he met Alexander Benois and his circle in 1890.
With Benois and Serge Diaghilev he was a founder of the (Mir Iskusstva) group in 1898 and was largely responsible for the technical excellence of its influential magazine. In 1906 he became a drawing teacher at the Yelizaveta Zvantseva's private school in St Peterburg, where his pupils included Marc Chagall.
Bakst realized his greatest artistic success in the theatre. Making the debut with designs for stage productions at the Hermitage and Alexandrinsky theatres in St Peterburg (1902-1903), he was then commissioned for several works at the Maryinsky theatre (1903-1904). In 1909 he collaborated with Diaghilev in the founding of Ballets Russes, where he acted as artistic director, and his stages designs rapidly brought him international fame.
His colorful exotic costumes and decors for Diaghilev's Scheherazade (
Bakst was an accomplished painter, as well as designer, in the World of Art group. His costumes for Diaghilev’s revival of Imperial Ballet, The Sleeping Princess (
Parade was Picasso’s first collaboration with the Ballets Russes and in a letter sent to a friend, Jean Cocteau the librettist said “Picasso amazes me every day, to live near him is a lesson in nobility and hard work” (Rothschild 49). Picasso’s studio in
Cocteau described his friend’s unusual artistic process: “A badly drawn figure of Picasso is the result of endless well-drawn figures he erases, corrects, covers over, and which serves him as a foundation. In opposition to all schools he seems to end his work with a sketch.” The audiences were amazed by the first ballet to have cubist costumes, sets, and choreography.
Natalia Goncharova was born in 1881 in Nagaevo a village near
Goncharova was also involved with graphic design - writing and illustrating a book in Futurist style. In 1915, she began to design ballet costumes and sets in
The Liturgy was commissioned by Diaghilev with Goncharova, Léonide Massine and Igor Stravinsky. She moved to
Miro was a Spanish Catalan painter, sculptor and ceramist born in
Dali was born on in the town of Figueres, in the Empordà region, close to the French border in
In the ballet community Dali is remembered designing sets for Ballet Russe’s Bacchanale in 1939, a ballet based on and set to the music of Richard Wagner's 1845 opera Tannhäuser. Dalí provided both the set design and the libretto. After Bacchanale, Dali created set designs for Labyrinth in 1941 and The Three-Cornered Hat in 1949 for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.
Matisse was born in Le Cateau-Cambrésis,
Cocteau was born in Maisons-Laffitte, a small village near
Derain was a French painter and co-founder of Fauvism with Henri Matisse. André Derain was born in 1880 in Île-de-France, just outside
Derain in 1919 he designed the ballet La Boutique Fantasque for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. A major success, it would lead to his creating many ballet designs. He died in Hauts-de-Seine,