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Bakst’s unpublished drawings, in fine, luminous pochoir plates, and here with the fragile and often missing striking dust jacket.
The prominent artistic director of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and one of the foremost theatre designers of European modernism, Leon Bakst (1866-1924) is presented here as a versatile artist and draughtsman. Among the album’s highlights are 20 bright and fresh phototype plates, hand-coloured in pochoir at the atelier of Daniel Jacomet, one of the leaders in this technique. The plates feature Bakst’s costume designs for The Sleeping Princess, Daphnis and Chloe, The Marvellous Night, Fantastic Shop and Boris Godunov among many others. It is worth noting that, among the few folio works celebrating Baskt’s costumes and decors, this is the only one using the pochoir technique for the plates, rendered here in vivid colours, supported with silver highlights for the most striking effect.
The work also includes Bakst’s skilful monochrome nudes and coloured ornate stage sets, accompanied with essays on Bakst (“The Art of Bakst” and “Reminiscences” by Valerian Svetlov), his contribution to the development of modern art in Western Europe (“Leo Bakst, Renovator of the Modern Art” by Louis Réau and “Considerations on Leo Bakst’s Art” by Denis Roche) and his interpretation of music (“Leo Bakst, Illustrator of Music” by A. Tessier).