Balaganchik [The Fairground Booth] (In the Children’s room) by Boris Grigoriev, 1912

On 02 June 2017 Shapero Rare Books will open an exhibition for Russian Art Week in collaboration with Russian Art + Culture, celebrating the Silver Age of Russian culture.

The specially curated exhibition will feature original works by Léon Bakst, Alexandre Benois and others from the collections of Maxim Bokser and Natalia Butterwick, along with a selection of important printed works of the time from Shapero's extensive Russian department.

A Cultural Renaissance of the Visual, Literary and Performing Arts

At the turn of the 20th century, just before Tsarist Russia came tumbling down, there was a cultural renaissance of the visual, literary and performing arts indebted to the set of ideas known as Symbolism, which flourished in Russia. The Russian Symbolists lived and created on the edge, which often made them to be named ‘Decadent’ or ‘Degenerate’. Yet, as Sergei Diaghilev declared, theirs was not a moral decline, but a voyage of inner discovery and a refurbishing of a national culture.

Léon Bakst (1866 - 1924)

A privileged collaborator of the Ballets Russes, the Russian artist rebelled against the traditional stage design that had become too pompous and literal, without theatricality. Fired by his love of colour, his brightly painted sets and richly coloured costumes combined extravagant designs with refined details to convey a heady atmosphere of Slavonic orientalism.

Alexandre Benois (1870–1960)

The celebrated artist and art historian, together with Léon Bakst and Serge Diaghilev he co-founded the influential magazine Mir iskusstva (“World of Art”), from which sprang the Diaghilev Ballets Russes. Benois was a talented scenic designer and created costumes and staging for more than 200 ballets, laying foundations for the emergence of the modern dance drama.

Mikhail Larionov (1881–1964)

Larionov was a major force in several Russian artistic movements of the early twentieth century. His career went through various stages as he explored and overturned new corners of visual expression. Having left Russia in 1915 he worked closely with Diaghilev for a number of years producing designs for several ballets.  

Exhibition runs from 2nd June - 9th June 2017
Monday - Friday 9:30am to 6:30pm

Shapero Rare Books
32 St. George Street

View more Russian Theatre & Ballet items

See the full programme for Russian Art Week

Russian Department Contacts:

Yulia Fedorenko

Pierre-Yves Guillemet

t: +44 20 7493 0876

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