It’s impossible to imagine Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes without him. Or the Orientalist trend in decoration that ravished the West in the first decades of the 20th century. He turned the Eastern “other” into a whirling vortex of jewel colors and enveloping pattern. And the stylization of his compositions already foresaw the Constructivism to come. The theatrical drama of Leon Bakst—the Russian painter, and scene and costume designer—excites the eye to this day. —L.J.
State Tretyakov Gallery Lavrushinsky Ln, 10, Moscow, Russia, 119017 Get Directions »