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Leon Bakst (1866 -1924) Costume design ‘Slave Boy’ for Ballet Cleopatre, Les Ballets Russes - Sergei Diaghilev
signed in pernsil (upper right) gouache, pencil heightened with silver on paper laid on board 45 x 29 cm (framed 81x35.5cm) executed circa 1909 Provenance: Sotheby’s, 06.05.70 Parmenia Migel Ekstrom collection (label on the reverse) (ballet historian and author, and founder and president of the Stravinsky-Diaghilev Foundation) Private collection Exhibited: New York, Stravinsky and Diaghilev, Cordier and Ekstrom Gallery (ill. No 6), 1973 London- Edinburgh, The Fine Art Society Centenary 1876-1976 (No 23) 1976 New York, Leon Bakst, Davis & Long Company, (No 9), 1977 San Antonio, Texas, Bakst, McNay Art Institute, (No 23) 1977 London, An Exhibition of Designs for the Russian Ballet, 1994 (ill. No 7) London, Diaghilev –Creator of the Ballet Russe, Barbican Art Gallery, 1996 (No 103a) Tokyo, A World of Stage, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, 2007 Cléopâtre was the most extraordinary production in the Ballets Russes’ 1909 season and signalled Léon Bakst’s mastery of sumptuous and exotic design. Against his powerful stage imagery of desert scenery and ancient Egyptian temple architecture and interior design, the dancers’ loose and abbreviated costumes glittered like jewels, animated by the physicality of their wearers. Bakst’s colour orchestration of gold, lapis blue, malachite green, pink, orange and violet was expressed in imagined Egyptian design motifs on the characters’ costumes, jewellery and weaponry. (+) This lot is under temporary importation and is subject to import tax (EU).