DIAGHILEV
A Life

SJENG SCHEIJEN
560pp ILLUS 2010 LIST PRICE: £14.99 (P) B731

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Description
Diaghilev is a character on the scale of myth. Growing up in a minor noble family in remote Perm, as a very young man he became an influential art historian and publisher in St Petersburg. Moving soon onto a bigger stage, he became a central figure in the artistic worlds of Paris, London, Rome, Berlin and Madrid during the golden age of modern art. He lived through bankruptcy, war, revolution and exile. Furthermore he lived openly as a homosexual and his liaisons, most famously with Nijinsky, and his turbulent friendships with among others Stravinsky, Coco Chanel, Prokoviev and Jean Cocteau give his life an exceptionally dramatic quality. Scheijen's biography brings a complex and powerful personality with boundless creative energy fully to life.
An admirable biographical study, and a fascinating overview of the Russian art world and its European connections in the early twentieth century. TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT