Title: THE DECORATIVE ART OF LEON BAKST
Publisher: Dover Publications, New York
Publication Date: 1972
Book Condition: Very Good +
Translated by Arsene Alexandre. With notes on the ballets by Jean Cocteau. 4to. Glossy illustrated covers. 52 pages of text, followed by 77 full page plates, including 48 in color. No names or marks. Bookseller Inventory # 1483
Synopsis: The explosion of the Ballets Russes on the Paris stage in the early years of this century marked the beginning of a great new age in dance. Traditions were shattered, an almost superhuman new talent was introduced (Nijinsky), a new approach to ballet was created and explored, and perhaps most important, every facet of the art, from music to set design, was in the hands of a superior artist. Leon Bakst, the Ballets Russes's costume and set designer, was an outstanding member of the group; his visual imagination is lastingly associated with the greatest years of the modern ballet.
This book presents, in 48 full color and 29 black and white plates, the art of Leon Bakst, from costumes and set designs to independent paintings. Here are reproductions of Bakst's own water colors for the unforgettable costumes of L'Oiseu de Feu, Cleopatre, Scheherazade, Narcisse, Salome, Dphnis et Chloe, Carnaval and other major ballets. Some of these costume were designed for Nijinksy, or for Ida Rubinstein, or Tamara Karsavina. Here are the rajahs, high priests, sultans, eunuchs, nymphs, bacchantes, Boeotians, harlequin, faun, Indian dancers and all the rest of the fabulous figures that appeared in these productions. Here is also the scenery, the elaborate paintings, in which the colors are so vivid that they seem to become almost palpable. The costumes show Bakst's genius for 'line and color in movement,' and all represent his original contribution to the freshness and uniqueness of the Ballets Russes.
Language Notes: Text: English, French (translation)
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