From 22 November 2016 to 4 March 2017 at the Palais Garnier
The painter, stage designer, and theoretician Leon Bakst (1866-1924) was known for having been the main collaborator of the Ballets Russesand the Paris Opera. A creator of stage designs and costumes for a number of masterpieces - Sheherazade, The Spirit of the Rose, The Afternoon of a Faun,and Daphnis and Chloe – and a tireless worker, Bakst built a work that revolutionised not only theatrical stage design but also fashion and the decorative arts. A man deeply imbued with the world of theatre, he envisaged creation as a whole, immersing himself in the written work and in the music alike before sketching a plastic universe.
On the occasion of the one hundred and fiftieth
anniversary of the artist’s birth, the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the
Opéra National de Paris have organised a retrospective exhibition presenting
the work of a man anchored in a fairy-tale creation, in spite of the hardships
of time and the violence of history. It enables visitors to follow the
itinerary of a Russian artist who became a figure of Parisian society; a
painter who trained Chagall; an artist who, above all, was able to make a
contribution to creating the spirit and sensitivity of pre-war 1914, thanks to
fevered creations dominated by body eroticism; works conceived in dialogue with
those of Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky, D’Annunzio, and Nijinsky; creations that
received special praise from Proust and Cocteau, and that continue to inspire
the greatest fashion designers.