World of Art

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(Russ., ‘Mir Iskusstva’).

The name of an informal association of Russian artists formed in St Petersburg in 1898 and of the journal they published from 1899 to 1904; the association lasted, with interruptions, until 1924, but its heyday was over long before this. Diaghilev was the journal's editor, and his contributors and collaborators included Léon Bakst and Alexandre Benois. The group encouraged interchange with Western art (many articles published in the journal had previously appeared in European magazines) and became the focus for avant-garde developments in Russia. In particular it promoted the Art Nouveau style. Some of the artists involved in the group (notably Nikolai Roerich) were also interested in evoking the spirit of ancient Russia, and this synthesis of old and new was best expressed in their decor for Diaghilev's ballet company, which revolutionized European stage design when he brought it to Paris in 1909.

Subjects: Art.

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