The exhibition, curated by Natalia Metelitsa and Maria Ida Biggi, explores the career of the renowned Russian artist and set and costume designer, who made a reputation thanks to his innovative creations for Sergei Diaghilev’s celebrated ballet company.

Léon Bakst (1866-1924) was educated in St.Petersburg and Paris. With Sergei Diaghilev and Alexandre Benois, he founded Mir iskusstva, the magazine in which he published his first graphic art works. In 1902, he began working as a set and costume designer for the St. Petersburg imperial theatres. Albeit with rifts and reconciliations, his collaboration with the Ballets Russes lasted from 1909 almost throughout his career.

The exhibition documents a large part of Bakst’s artistic production. In addition there is a selection of costume designs mainly created between 1910 and 1911 for ballets such as Thaïs, La Traviata, Faust, Martyre de St. Sébastien and Manon Lescaut. The exhibition is completed by a rich series of photographs and original costumes, a fundamental aid in reconstructing the much-acclaimed artist’s multifaceted activities.