Author shares his personal interesting revelations about famous artist with readers
A large scale international art project between Belgazprombank and the National Art Museum entitled The Time and Artistry of Leon Bakst (devoted to the master’s 150th anniversary) was recently shown in Minsk over a two-month period
A large scale international art project between Belgazprombank and the National Art Museum entitled The Time and Artistry of Leon Bakst (devoted to the master’s 150th anniversary) was recently shown in Minsk over a two-month period. Many interesting facts from the life of this Belarus-born international artist can be found in Vladimir Schastny’s book — Leon Bakst: Living by the Firebird’s Feather.
The book was published by Minsk’s Chetyre Chetverti (Four Quarters) Publishing House, written in the form of an essay. Mr. Schastny has created both a work of art related literature and a fascinating life story. “Purely art related books — which are of interest to a narrow group of readers — or works of fiction based on Leon Bakst are already well known. My book unites both. Professional art experts won’t find anything new in the pages but I’ve drawn my own conclusions. I hope the book will raise interest among a wide circle of art lovers,” commented the author.
According to Mr. Schastny, his book primarily aims to reveal Bakst from different angles as many know of him only on the basis of his state-set art. It was also important for the author to depict the era when the great master lived. The text is accompanied by some documentary photos, in addition to colourful illustrations of Bakst’s pictures — taken from collections of Belgazprombank, Belarus’ National Art Museum and the St. Petersburg State Museum of Theatre and Music Art.
Cover and one of the double page spreads of Vladimir Schastny’s book
“It took me two years to write the book and The Time and Artistry of Leon Bakst show was two years in the planning. I have subtitled the manuscript: an essay, others have been quick to point out that I am not an expert but I was writing as a reader to a reader — relying not only on museum materials but also on memories of artists who were Bakst’s countrymen. This is a book of my personal findings which I hope will arouse interest among a wide circle of art lovers.”
Mr. Schastny graduated from the Minsk Institute of Foreign Languages and worked as a translator and English language teacher. He was in the diplomatic service for thirty years — working in Pakistan, the USA, Lithuania and the UK. Mr. Schastny is known as a translator of fiction works from English and Urdu, as well as a playwright whose plays have been staged in Belarusian theatres. He wrote Parisian School Artists from Belarus which has been reprinted twice and has acted as a basis for Art-Belarus, a major project of Belgazprombank aimed at supporting Belarusian culture. While co-operating with the bank, Mr. Schastny developed the concept for the shows Belarus-Born Artists of the School of Paris and Ten Centuries of Belarusian Art, which have been great hits at the National Art Museum. He’s also the author of the recently held exhibition: The Time and Artistry of Leon Bakst.
“Mr. Schastny has made a breakthrough in writing the first popular book about our countryman Bakst,” commented Liliana Antsukh, the Director of the Chetyre Chetverti Publishing House. “The book is rich in details of the artist’s life, while recreating the Silver Age atmosphere and featuring illustrations of works painted by Bakst and other participants of the World of Art Association. We have prepared the book with love and hope everyone will feel this on taking the book into their hands.”
Leon Bakst: Living by the Firebird’s Feather is worth reading. No doubt, the author’s personal conclusions and revelations will capture the imagination and arouse interest even among those who are usually indifferent to art personalities.
By Mikhail Veremeev
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