Bakst, L. S.
Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev, Portrait.
Portrait of Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev (1872-1929) with his nurse
Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev, the son of a general and a noblewoman, was the greatest Russian impresario of the early part of the twentieth century. In the year this portrait was painted, Diaghilev moved to Paris. There in 1909, he founded the Ballets Russes, which toured widely throughout Europe and the Americas. Diaghilev changed the nature of Classical ballet by commissioning avant-garde artists to design costumes and sets, and avant-garde musicians to compose scores. A forceful personality, he collaborated with some of the most influential figures of early twentieth-century art and culture, including Bakst, Benois, Cocteau, and Picasso. Among the ballets he produced are three set to the music of Igor Stravinsky ("The Firebird," 1910, "Petrushka," 1911, and "The Rite of Spring," 1913). (00409)