Leon Samoilovitch Bakst was a Russian painter and scene- and costume designer. He was a member of the Sergei Diaghilev circle and the Ballets Russes, for which he designed exotic, richly coloured sets and costumes
Born as Lev (Leib) Samoilovich Rosenberg, he was also known as Leon (Lev) Nikolayevich Bakst. He was born in Grodno (currently Belarus) in a middle-class Jewish family. After graduating from gymnasium, he studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts as a noncredit student, working part-time as a book illustrator.
At the time of his first exhibition (1889) he took the surname of "Bakst," based on his mother's maiden name. The surname "Rosenberg" was thought to be too Jewish and not good for business. At th
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