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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...

Article

Jean-Pierre de Bruyn

(b Lille, Feb 8, 1861; d Ghent, Jan 7, 1938).

Belgian painter, sculptor, illustrator, and stage designer. He studied music at the Koninklijk Muziekconservatorium and sculpture at the Gewerbeschule, Ghent (after 1877). He visited Paris in 1887 and Italy in 1890, with a grant from the city of Ghent. He was deeply impressed by the masters of the Quattrocento, and was encouraged to take up painting after meeting Constantin Meunier (1891). He painted Symbolist scenes and was influenced by Art Nouveau. After exhibiting his work with Les XX in Brussels (1893), he made decorative panels for Oostakker Castle.

As an illustrator Doudelet worked on Pol De Mont’s Van Jezus (Antwerp, 1897) and books by Maurice Maeterlinck, for example Douze chansons (Paris, 1896) and Pelléas et Mélisande (Brussels, 1892 or 1922). He illustrated the periodicals Réveil (1895–1896), De Vlaamsche school, Mercure de France, Pan, L’Eroica, Nuovo Convito, De Vlaamsche School, Woord en beeld...

Article

Lija Skalska-Miecik

(b Bohdanów, nr Vilna [now Vilnius, Lithuania], Dec 10, 1870; d Bohdanów, Oct 30, 1936).

Polish painter, printmaker and stage designer. In 1890–92 he studied law at the University of St Petersburg, but from the autumn of 1892 dedicated all his time to painting classes at the Academy of Fine Arts. He was a student of the Russian landscape painters Ivan Shishkin and Arkhip Kuindzhi. During his studies Ruszczyc went twice to the Crimea (1894 and 1895) to paint seascapes. In 1896 and 1897 he went to the Baltic islands of Rügen and Bornholm and to the southern coast of Sweden to paint studies of northern landscape. He also went several times to Berlin, where he first saw works by German Symbolist painters. The influence of Arnold Böcklin may be detected in works on fantastical themes, while Spring (1897; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.) recalls Kuindzhi’s luminism and the lyrical Russian landscape tradition. After graduation Ruszczyc made an extensive tour of western Europe, thus substantially enlarging his knowledge of contemporary European art. At the end of his journey (...

Article

V. Rakitin

(Nikolayevich)

(b Moscow, Dec 17, 1880; d Gulf of Finland, nr Terrioki [St Petersburg region], June 14, 1912).

Russian painter and stage designer. From 1894 to 1904 he studied at the School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Moscow under Konstantin Korovin and Vladimir Serov, and under Isaak Levitan, who had a formative influence on his early landscape studies. On a visit to Rome, Florence and Pisa in 1902 Sapunov was impressed by the painting of Adolphe Monticelli. In 1904 Sapunov participated in the exhibition of the Crimson Rose (Rus. Alaya roza) group of Symbolists in Saratov.

In 1905 Sapunov met the director Vsevolod Meyerhold at his theatre studio in Moscow and he later participated in Meyerhold’s attempts to create a ‘Symbolist theatre’ in the production of Aleksandr Blok’s Balaganchik (‘The little fairground booth’; designs in St Petersburg, Theat. Mus.) and Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler at Vera Komissarzhevskaya’s theatre in St Petersburg in 1906. In attempting to polemicize against the detailed realism of the Moscow Arts Theatre, Sapunov and Meyerhold presented the sets for these productions as painted panels and bas-reliefs, and the figure of the actor was seen as an integral part of the overall pictorial schema. In ...

Article

John E. Bowlt

(Yur’yevich)

(b Smolensk, March 19, 1882; d Nyack, NY, Aug 12, 1946).

Russian stage designer and painter. He attended the School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Moscow from 1897 to 1909, studying mainly under Konstantin Korovin and Valentin Serov, but although he painted a few Impressionist landscapes, his first major artistic concern was with Symbolism, as in his paintings of the first decade of the 20th century such as Pastorale (1905; Moscow, I. A. Myasnikova priv. col., see Kogan, no. 2) and Love (1907; Moscow, E. A. Gunst priv. col.). After taking part in the exhibition Crimson Rose in Saratov in 1904, he became a founder-member of the Blue Rose group of Symbolist painters, who paid homage to the painting of Viktor Borisov-Musatov, and he developed their mystical motifs and contributed to their exhibition in 1907. Sudeykin was also in contact with the World of Art group, and, on the invitation of Serge Diaghilev, he travelled to Paris in ...