Leon Bakst

1866 - 1924 / wikipedia / vam.ac.uk
"Although born in Russia, Leon Bakst spent most of his artistic career in Paris. In 1898, he co-founded the World of Art group. He then went on to establish a reputation as a portraitist until ..." http://www.the-art-world.com/history/

"...Léon Bakst belonged to that young generation of European artists who rebelled against 19th century stage realism, which had become pedantic and literal, without imagination or theatricality.
There were no specialist trained theatre designers, so painters like Vuillard in France, Munch in Scandinavia and Léon Bakst and Alexandre Benois in Russia turned their painting skills to theatre design.
Bakst’s fame lay in the ballets he designed ... http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/b/biography-of-leon-bakst/

"Léon Samoilovitch Bakst ( Лео́н Никола́евич Бакст; 10 May 1866 – 28 December 1924), Russian painter and scene and costume designer. ...a member of the Sergei Diaghilev circle and the Ballets Russes, for which he designed exotic, richly coloured sets and costumes.

Born as Lev (Leib) Samoilovich Rosenberg (Лев Самойлович Розенберг), he was also known as Leon (Lev) Nikolayevich Bakst (Леон (Лев) Николаевич Бакст).

...born in Grodno (currently Belarus), in a middle-class Jewish family, his grandfather being an exceptional tailor, the Tsar gave him a very good position and he had a huge and wonderful house in Saint Petersburg... At the age of 12, Léon won a drawing contest and decided to become a painter, but his parents did not really take a shine to it. After graduating from gymnasium, he studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts as a noncredit student, because he had failed the entry, working part-time as a book illustrator, though, he would eventually be admitted into this institution in 1883.

At the time of his first exhibition (1889) he took the surname of "Bakst," based on his mother's maiden name. The surname "Rosenberg" was thought to be too Jewish and not good for business." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A9on_Bakst
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