Portrait of Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev with his nanny

Lev (Leon) Bakst • Painting, 1906, 161×116 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Portrait, Interior
Style of art: Art Nouveau
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1906
Size: 161×116 cm
Artwork in selections: 24 selections

Description of the artwork «Portrait of Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev with his nanny»

Portrait Of Diaghilev work Bakst is one of the best images of the famous entrepreneur. But it was given to the artist is not easy. "...Today, shockingly posed, broke down and was stuck, so I made it prettier and thinner, that I could not let him brush!", – complained of his "model" Bakst in a letter to his wife. The capricious Diaghilev, Bakst wrote for two years that, for him, an exceptional case. Usually on portraits, he worked rapidly.

Bakst proved himself a subtle physiognomist. Diaghilev in his performance is impressive, energetic, confident, artistic, beautiful. Striking gray hairs, giving the whole appearance an additional charm and gentility. In all likelihood, Bakst originally had not planned to write Diaghilev "in the background of a nanny". Perhaps her figure was added as a balancing counterweight. But what a fine "adding" we did it! Like Diaghilev, successfully organizing scenes, which were made by Russian artists, is now himself "on stage." It shows itself in all its glory, here it is the whole, admire and applaud! And behind like behind the scenes, figure nanny Avdotya, who was all the time with him, accompanying all his travels. She is shown sketchily, it emits a sense of calm, acceptance. If she waits until the "child" will natalitsa, and then drive it home... by the Way, dyagilevsky nanny his friends jokingly called Arina Rodionovna. Of course, in the way of Babysitting and has a delicate hint of democracy main character, and subtle irony.

The colour scheme is quite restrained, while Bakst with great taste disposes contrasting areas: the dark doorway divides the image into two parts, light and dark planes look spectacular next. Paintings in the background on the right remind visitors about the collecting interests of Diaghilev and refer to them organized in 1905, the exhibition of Russian portraits at the Tauride Palace.

By the way, compare this painting with Leon Bakst a portrait of Robert Louis Stevenson and his wifepainted by John singer Sargent: the same, even the number of pictures on the wall!

Author: Alain Esaulova