Ivan Bilibin

   No such erotomania informs Bilibin’s calmer,less neurotic contemporary work . He was coming from a very different place , but was still commissioned by Diaghilev for his World of Art magazine in turn-of-the-century St. Petersburg . The work carried  a certain Northern solemnity , flat peasant tones and a solidity that weightily echoed Japanese wood-cuts perhaps,as well as the pervasive influence of Aubrey Beardsley . Bilibin was looking backwards rather than forwards , it might be argued , and it’s none the worse for that . In fact , just as Bakst did in his way , Bilibin captured  the required atmosphere with a beautiful precision .


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