Judith dresses in Bakst, avant

29 Feb

Judith was keeping good company when she wore the designs of Leon Bakst.   Bakst had been the set and costume designer for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes until 1822, responsible for gems like Cleopatra (1909), Scheherazade (1910), Carnaval (1910), Narcisse (1911), Le Spectre de la Rose (1911), and Daphnis et Chloe (1912).   He left Russia for France and teamed with Henri Bernstein in the designs for the 1922 production of Judith.

Woman (1922) by Bakst for the play “Judith”

Jewish Elder (1922) by Bakst for the play “Judith”

General Hasphenor (1922) by Bakst for the play “Judith”

Judith – The Queen’s Guard (1922) by Bakst for the play “Judith”

The play was apparently a success, although it is difficult to find information.  The one article I could find appeared in Science Magazine (yes, a little odd), indicating the proceeds of a performance were donated to French Confederation of Scientific Societies.

Poster for “Judith” (1922) by Henry Bernstein at Théâtre du Gymnase

Science Magazine, Dec 8, 1922.

This article does give one new piece of information:  who played the title role.  “Mme Simone” was Simone le Bargy, an actress who had worked with Bernstein on numerous productions. she was famous enough to be billed as simply “Simone”.

Judith with the Head of Holofernes (1922) Leon Bakst

But somehow I have trouble imagining her in this costume. Reminds me of something more likely to be worn by another one-name wonder, “Cher.”

Mme Simone le Bargy (1911)

Cher, Take Me Home (1979)

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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Story


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