1866, Hrodno - 1924, Paris


Эскиз костюма к балету "Фея кукол". 1903. Музыка Й. Байера, хореография С.Г. и Н.Г. Легат. Санкт-Петербург, Эрмитажный театр, 7 февраля 1903; Мариинский театр, 16 февраля 1903.. 1903

Bakst’s fame as a stage set designer began with the ballet Die Puppenfee. Banal in content and traditional in choreography, this ballet was created by Nikolai and Sergei Legat and staged across Europe. Its completely new ring was all down to the “talented toils” of Bakst. The scene was St Petersburg of the 1840s–1850s — Gostiny Dvor, with its doll bazaars, and Nevsky Prospect, seen beyond the windows of the toy shop. The costume designs were firmly in keeping with the real sights of old St Petersburg. Among them, the Postman in his uniform is especially characteristic. The French doll, in her austere and elegant dress with its minute details, represents the kingdom of dolls that comes to life in the course of the action. Bakst’s high artistic taste and feeling for style allowed him to turn “that silly little ballet Die Puppenfee” into “a wonderful, purely Hoffmann fairy tale” (Benois). In 1909 the ballet correspondent of the Rech newspaper wrote: “Die Puppenfee is one of the most elegant and refined creations of modern art. The delight of this delicate miniature charm knows no limits ... It is impossible to tear one’s eyes away from these entrancing costumes, where every dot, speck, bow, curl, glove and even every beauty-spot is so delicately thought out, so stylish, so vividly necessary.”

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