L'OEUVRE DE LEON BAKST Pour La Belle au Bois Dormant / Ballet en Cinq Actes d'apres le conte de Perrault
Paris, M. de Brunoff 1922, hb. Folio, The English edition was published a year later, by Benn Bros., in an edition of 1,000 copies, with a Preface by Andre Levinson.
¶ Bound in the original frail stiff card covers, the front cover being printed and decorated in gilt. One of 500 numbered copies, of which this is copy number 466, signed on the limitation page by both Bakst and de Brunhoff. With 54 magnificent full-colour laid-in plates of spectacular Bakst costume designs, each protected by a captioned tissue guard, and each signed and dated in the plate by Bakst. This is preceded by a striking lithograph portrait of Bakst, rendered by Picasso, and signed and dated (1-4-22) in the plate by the artist. "The Sleeping Beauty" premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia, January 3, 1890. Despite a lavish production, and the choreography of Marius Petipa, it was not well-received, the critics and the public alike finding the music too "symphonic". It wasn't until 1921, when the Russian impressario Serge Diaghilev brought together Leon Bakst to design the sets and the costumes, and Igor Stravinsky to orchestrate the music, that the ballet was truly appreciated. Bakst's designs, in particular, were revolutionary: "Bakst's greatest claim to theatrical glory lies in his feeling for synthesis, in his impeccable instinct for harmony, which blends the innumerable elements of the performance into one, single, coherent, whole" (from Levinson's Preface). The front cover of this copy has detached, but is present. The rear hinge is weak but holding. Spine paper absent and stitching is shaken but holding nicely. No loose pages and all tissue guards are present. The plates, and the lithograph, are unblemished. C'est magnifique!
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Book number: 042565
USD 4500.00 [Appr.: EURO 4030.75 | £UK 3542.25 | JP¥ 500757]
Keywords: Ballet Dance Theatre Theater Costume Tchaikovsky Diaghilev Sleeping Beauty