Iconic Designs


Léon Bakst (1866-1924). The Sleeping Princess, Costume design for Galison, 1921. Ink and watercolor. Uncatalogued designs. Gift of Frederick R. Koch, 1984.

The Sleeping Princess

Léon Bakst designed the costumes and décor for a lavish restaging of Petipa’s ballet The Sleeping Beauty, which was produced in London (and seen there only) in 1921 and 1922. This production was a departure for Diaghilev—unprecedented and not to be repeated—not only in that the production was run nightly instead of in repertory with other pieces, but also in that this was a single full-length work, rather than a program of several contrasting pieces. The courtly costumes for The Sleeping Princess represented a departure for Léon Bakst; they resemble more closely the illustrations of children’s books than other of his costume designs.