Ivan Iakovlevich Bilibin (1876-1942) studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Art under Repin. As a member of the "Mir Iskusstva" (World of Art) group, his main interests lay in Old Russian folk tales illustration and stage design. He left Russia in 1920 and pursued an artistic career in Egypt and France, returning to the Soviet Union in 1936 where he continued to illustrate Old Russian fairytales.
From 1921 to 1925, Bilibin settled in Cairo and started to paint watercolour showing landscapes from the Middle East in a style similar to the ones made earlier in Crimea, but in a new spirit showing the fantastic combination of different colours of Middle East.
In September-November 1930, Bilibin worked on the stage set and costume designs for the opera "The Tsar's Bride" for the Russian opera season's in Paris.