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Kenneth Archer

[Rosenberg, Lev (Samoylovich)]

(b Grodno, Belarus, May 10, 1866; d Paris, Dec 27, 1924).

Russian painter and stage designer of Belorussian birth. Born into a middle-class Jewish family, Bakst was educated in St Petersburg, attending a gymnasium and then the Academy of Arts (1883–6). He began professional life as a copyist and illustrator of teaching materials but quickly moved on to illustration for popular magazines. His tastes were influenced and horizons enlarged when he met Alexandre Benois and his circle in 1890. Bakst travelled regularly to various countries in Europe and North Africa and studied in Paris with a number of notable artists including the French Orientalist painter Jean-Léon Gérôme at the Académie Julian and, from 1893 to 1896, the Finnish landscape painter Albert Edelfelt. Returning to St Petersburg, he became active as a book designer and fashionable portrait painter. With Benois and Serge Diaghilev he was a founder and leading member of the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) group in 1898...

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Marian Burleigh-Motley

(Aleksandrovich)

(b St Petersburg, Jan 19, 1865; d Moscow, Dec 5, 1911).

Russian painter, graphic artist and stage designer. As a child he lived in St Petersburg, but he made frequent trips abroad. In 1874 he travelled to Paris with his mother and frequented the studio of the Russian Realist painter, Il’ya Repin. In 1875 the art patron Savva Mamontov invited Serov and his mother to settle at Abramtsevo outside Moscow, where he again had the opportunity to study under Repin and to meet other artists in the Mamontov circle. The Symbolist paintings of Mikhail Vrubel’ and the late Impressionist landscapes and figure studies of Konstantin Korovin he saw at Abramtsevo had a lasting influence on the young Serov. From 1880 to 1885 he studied at the Academy of Art, St Petersburg, under Pavel Chistyakov (1832–1919). During the 1880s Serov also travelled abroad and became aware of French Impressionism. He began to use bright colours in portraits of figures seen in dappled sunlight and shade, as in his portrait of Vera Mamontov, ...