Léon Samoilovitch Bakst (May 10, 1866 – December 28, 1924) was a Russian painter and scene- and costume designer who revolutionized the arts he worked in. Born as Lev (Leib) Rosenberg, he was also known as Leon (Lev) Nikolayevich Bakst (Леон (Лев) Николаевич Бакст). Bakst was the family name of his mother. This surname was more suitable for a young Russian artist. Many Bakst's around the world did change their name to Baxt. In late 2010, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London will present an exhibit of Bakst's costumes and Leon was born in Grodno (currently Belarus) in a middle-class Jewish family. After graduating from gymnasium, he studied in St. Petersburg Academy of Arts as a noncredit student, working part-time as a book illustrator.
On his first exhibition (1889) he took the name of Bakst based on his mother's family name. The surname 'Rosenberg' was thought to be too Jewish and not good for business. At the beginning of the 1890s he exhibited his works with Society of watercolourists. During 1893 - 1897 he lived in Paris, where he studied at the Académie Julian while still visiting Saint Petersburg often. After the mid-1890s he became a member of the circle of writers and artists formed by Sergei Diaghilev and Alexandre Benois, which later became tLéon Bakst helped revolutionize the role of sets and costumes design in dance. He became internationally famous after his design of Schéhérazade which opened in Paris in June of 1910.
Not satisfied with the staid backdrops of Ballet, Bakst designed exotic sets which were an integral part of the production along with beautiful, often oriental, costumes made of explosive pure, bright colors that just floored audiences.
Bakst and his close colleague Alexander Benois are recognized by many as having together revolutionized theatrical design.
he Mir Iskusstva art movement.
In 1899, he co-founded with Sergei Diaghilev the influential periodical World of Art. His graphics for the World of Art magazine brought him fame.prints.[1