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Bakst: From the Ballets Russes to haute couture

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 Russes and 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.   

Exhibition curators

  • Mathias Auclair
  • Sarah Barbedette
  • Stéphane Barsacq


  • Adeline Caron
  • Loïc Le Gall

Pratical informations and booking

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Discover exhibition's pictures

Bakst : Les photos de l'exposition
Bakst : Les photos de l'exposition 14 images


Bakst, des ballets russes à la haute couture

39,00€ | 37,05€ ABONNÉS  

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