Portrait with. P. Diaghilev with the nanny


The artist is Bakst

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"Portrait of Sergey Pavlovich Diaghilev with a nanny" was recognized as the peak of portrait work of Leo Bakst. It was completed in 1906, when the Petersburg period of Diaghilev activity approached the end, so bright, stressful, executed of ups and downs. Among the rich artistic iconography of this formidable “dictator from art”, there is not a single portrait in which he, all woven from extremely sharp contradictions, would be so true. Bakst penetrated the essence of his character, as if gathering together all the facets of his multidimensional nature, created the most difficult image of unusually delicate visual techniques – the method of semi -people, semi -accents.

In the very setting of the magnificent figure of Diaghilev, in the “Pose of a confident, impudent, pondering and decisive” peace and impulse. Dobuzhinsky wrote: “In all his habits and manner, there was some kind of bar’s laziness, and at the same time I always saw him somewhere in a hurry”.

By depicting Sergei Pavlovich at the very edge of the canvas in the “half -turn” of Bakst allows us to enjoy the evasion of the elegant appearance of the portrait, and on the other hand, it reveals the space of the distant plan and makes it possible to consider the interior of the St. Petersburg apartment. There, in the depths of the illuminated cabinet, you can see the easel and paintings on the wall, which immediately causes a chain of associations: behind Diaghilev’s shoulders-“the world of art”, the historical and artistic exhibition of Russian portraits in the Tauride Palace, and he, as if speaking at the forefront, is torn to a new activities, he is waiting for foreign theater triumphs. It was as if a dark blue, almost black curtain, which was drawn by the time, was pushed by the time, on which the sensual, at first glance, the arrogant face of the “secular dandy”, “arrogant viscent”, “cloth and trim” seemed especially expressive to the viewer. But through the mask of monumentality and the indestructible fortress, you can see living human features: in the corners of rigidly constrained lips – either a smile or a game of nerves of tenderness, but in the eyes – holy sadness, kindness and, as Serge Lifar noted, unexpected sentimentality. The intimate note of the image is strengthened by the presence of an old woman-nadoti in a portrait of a loyal pet. It connects two distant shores of the rapid stream of Diaghilev life: a happy childhood in Perm and a brilliant future in Paris. Between them – 15 years of St. Petersburg life.

After graduating from the Perm gymnasium in 1890, Diaghilev arrived in St. Petersburg and entered the law faculty of the university, while studying music at n.AND. Rimsky-Korsakov at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Thanks to his cousin Dmitry Philosophers, he fell into a circle of young intellectuals, who called themselves “Neva Pickwits” and, in the future, compiled the core of one of the most significant in Russian culture of the 20th century of the creative association “World of Art”. The exhibition shows a portrait of the indisputable leader of the circle – Alexander Benois, performed, just like the “portrait of Diaghilev with the nanny”, artist Leon Bakst.

E.AT.Amphilokhiev, e.AT.Stankevich and N.AND.Fedorova. Materials for a virtual tour of the exhibition "Diaghilev. Start". 2009

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Diaghilev Sergey Pavlovich (1872–1929) – theater and artistic figure, publisher, critic. Publisher and, together with A. N. Benois, magazine editor „World of Art "(1898–1904). Organized in Paris „Russian historical concerts "(1907), which were the beginning of the introduction of the West to Russian music; performances of Russian opera and Russian ballet (Russian seasons; 1908–1929); in 1911 – troupe „Russian ballet Sergey Diaghilev "(the beginning of the performance in 1913 and existed until 1929).

„Portrait with. P. Diaghilev with the nanny “is perhaps the best image of this famous figure, a close friend of the artist. A somewhat proud pose, slightly raised eyebrows, evaluating eyes give out in Diaghilev a self -confident and authoritarian personality. The figure of the Nyani, who is so typical of Russian noble life, served in the corner of the room, serves as a kind of contrast to Diaghilev’s figure and thereby helps the artist more deeply reveal the character of this extraordinary person, the recent provincial, which later managed to become the most famous impresario of Europe.

The Russian Museum. From the icon to the present. 2005. With. 254.

Diaghilev Sergey Pavlovich (1872–1929) – theater and artistic figure, together with a. N. Benois created the art association “World of Art”, co -editor of the magazine of the same name, propagandist of Russian art abroad, organizer of “Russian seasons” in Paris (since 1907), head of the Russian Ballet troupe with. P. Diaghilev "(1911–1929). Russian portrait. XX century: St. Petersburg, 2001. With. 78.

The situation characteristic of its time. In the appearance of a person who has turned sharply to the audience, a great inner tension is felt. Face, pose, gesture give out in it the mind, will, energy, self -esteem and significant share of arrogance. At this point, Bakst and Diaghilev were connected by a fifteen -year friendship. The artist admired the undertakings of Diaghilev, his businessiness and resourcefulness, but did not tolerate his dictatorial manners, swagger and rudeness. The complexity of the relationship of the painter and model was affected in the nature of the work. The portrait was started in April 1904 in St. Petersburg. In a letter to the wife, l. P. Bakst, the artist reported that Diaghilev “posed disgustingly, broke and asked me to make him more beautiful”. The following sessions took place in the summer in Finland, in the town of Salmel, where the head and part of the figure were added. With the departure of Diaghilev to Moscow, the sessions stopped. The canvas ended in early 1906 in St. Petersburg. It was then that the interior of the apartment of Diaghilev and the figure of Anyany in the background appeared. The image of a calmly sitting in the chair of the old peasant woman contrastly emphasized the essence of the owner that succeeds in many endeavors. (AT. Prince.). Russian portrait. XX century: St. Petersburg, 2001. With. 78.

Media text and media portal resources

Diaghilev. Start. Video from the cycle of the General Director of the Russian Museum in.AND.Guseva "Century of the Russian Museum" (2009)

Recommended online resources

Lecture and.AND.Dorongchenkova "To emerge Russian painting, clean it…"
(Multimedia Center, 2019)

Paris Sergey Diaghilev – Documentary (channel "Culture", 2010)

The world of art Sergey Diaghilev. Perm citizen (2007)

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