Léon BAKST

1866-1924

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Status, price and estimation of the artist Léon BAKST

Price of a painting signed Bakst at auction: 600 – 600,000 €

Estimation of a drawing or a watercolour: 800 – 15,000€.

Average estimate for a print: 100 – 3,000€.

If you would like to have a painting by Léon Bakst appraised, our painting experts are at your disposal for a free appraisal.

Léon Bakst, between Russia and the Orient

Léon Bakst, born on 10 May 1866 in Hrodna and died on 24 December 1924 in Rueil, was a Russian painter, costume designer and decorator, considered to be one of the initiators of the Mir Iskusstva.

A successful career path

Young Léon began his training at the Gymnasium of the imperial capital where he gradually became aware that his destiny would be sealed by artistic creation. This is why, in 1883, he began to follow the teachings of the Academy of Fine Arts in Saint Petersburg, from which he was excluded because a Pietà – representation of the Virgin Mary – was considered too realistic. This would be one of his only failures throughout his career.

Bakst then decided to leave for Italy, in 1891, and then for France where he attended classes at the Académie Julian and contributed to the work of the workshop under the aegis of Jean-Léon Gérôme. On the strength of these cultural, professional and spiritual journeys, the artist gained a certain recognition in his native country, the Russian State even commissioned him to create L’Arrivée de l’amiral Avelane et des marins russes à Paris.

His success would then spread throughout Europe, allowing him to collaborate with Benois and Diaghilev, to found the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) and to become in 1906 director of the Bakst and Doboujinski School, where he would count Marc Chagall among his students.

Bakst’s proximity to the Ballets Russes

Although a large part of his paintings, especially those produced in the early years of his life as an artist, are the product of foreign influences, drawn from his many stays in France and Germany, two sources of inspiration will mark Bakst for life: the Orient and the Ballets Russes, both of which are in fact linked.

As for the Orient, Bakst’s sketches such as The Sultana went down in history and prove how much the oriental richness, its arabesques and warm colours had a definite impact on the artist’s work.

As for the Ballets Russes, they are an opportunity for Bakst to present another facet of his artistic perspective: his talent as a costume designer. He will, for example, create the sets and costumes for Shahrya and her brothers, an oriental-inspired tale….

An avant-garde singularity

Less than a century after the end of classicism, Bakst proposes a paradigm that is both true to life, making him a painter with realistic inspirations, and at the same time completely eccentric with the depiction of fabrics of all colours or even landscapes on the verge of dreaming.

The painting The Yellow Sultana, which sold for more than 1,085,000 € at Christie’s, is a good illustration of Bakstienne’s ability to draw on artistic genius and foreign cultures to create striking masterpieces.

Recognising Léon Bakst’s signature

Like many artists, Léon Bakst did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of the signatures to give you an idea. Variations of these signatures do exist, do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to formally authenticate a signature.

expertise signature bakst

Appraise and sell a painting by Léon Bakst

If you own a Léon Bakst painting or any other sculpture, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your painting. In the event of a sale, our specialists will also advise you on the various options available to sell your work at the best price.

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