Description of the painting of Leon (Leo) Bakst “Young Boeotian”

Description of the painting of Leon (Leo) Bakst “Young Boeotian”

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Leon Bakst created a sketch of the costume “Young Boeotian” for the ballet performance of N. N. Cherepnin “Narcissus” in 1911. The work was done in pencil and watercolors on the paper above.

In the movement of the dance, a young dancer bursts into the canvas, filling with himself and his energy the whole space. Flexible lines, a soft, wide trace of a pencil and a shadow pattern emphasize the rhythm and flight of the ancient Greek. The characterization of the image of the poet’s words by Vladimir Kotovsky: “The embodiment of a whirlwind of heaven” perfectly characterizes.

The main character of the sketch is a young Boeotian, however, the picture shows only his body, not completely covered by clothes. The face is hidden. The viewer freezes in anticipation - another moment and the dancer will turn to him, open his inspired face, but he, turning, after a second flies away again, leaving behind the energy of the dance. The lightness of the image is complemented by the mystery of the invisible. The Boeotian’s body is drawn with a soft pencil - it creates volume, emphasizes the relief and liveliness of the arms and legs. The right leg is masterfully drawn - it is the support, the starting point of the whole dance. It seems that if fingers are now straightened, a person will lose rhythm, break down and stop in surprise, amazed at what happened.

The clothes look completely different. Its contour is highlighted by thin clear lines. There are no shadows at all, the color pattern is very clear, each detail has its own borders, the image is flat. The magic of the ornament of clothes repeats and visually enhances the rhythm of the dance.

The combination of green, olive, dark brown colors on a light surface gives the picture a feeling of clarity, airiness and harmony.

The work used ornamental elements, the influence of the art of Ancient Greece is felt.

Currently, the picture is stored in the collection of Nikita and Nina Lobanov-Rostovsky in London. According to another version - in the avant-garde art museum - MAGMA.

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