Russian Art Deco

Art Deco is an artistic style which originated in France in 1920s and influenced many forms of art, from visual to performing arts. Versatile and multifaceted, this style is full of elegance, functionality, modern feel and eclecticism.

Art Deco owes much to Russia: some of the key figures of this artistic style come from this country. That gives us basis to speak of Russian Art Deco style. An artistic union called Mir Iskusstva (World of Art) emerged in St. Petersburg in 1908. It was standing at the origins of the Russian art deco. The members of this group were: a great Russian impressario Sergei Diagilev, an outstanding artist Léon Bakst, a Russian artist, illustrator, and stage designer Alexandre Benois.  It is on the basis of World of Art that a world famous ballet company—Ballets Russes—was created. It became a true epitome of avant-garde style in fashion, ballet, music, choreography and stage design and one of the facets of Russian Art Deco.

Hardly any history of art-deco can miss the work of a Russian-born fashion designer Erte (real name Roman Tyrtov), who may be called the face of Russian Art Deco in visual art and fashion. His name conjures covers of glossy magazines, stage designs and garments, all combining Western elegance and exquisiteness of Ancient Greece—these two influences merged in a magical way to create luxurious yet ethereal lyrical shapes, which are quintessence of the Art Deco style and symbolize the Russian Art Deco.