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Aristide Maillol

 (1861 - 1944)
Aristide Maillol was active/lived in France.  Aristide Maillol is known for female figure sculpture, painting, woodcut illustration.

Aristide Maillol

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Biography from the Archives of askART

Aristide Maillol was born in Banyuls, France in 1861.  Maillol's early career was spent mainly as a tapestry designer, but he also painted.  Although he first made sculpture in 1895, it was only in 1900 that he decided to devote himself to it after serious eyestrain made him give up tapestry.  After about 1910, he was internationally famous and received a constant flow of commissions.  With only a few exceptions he restricted himself in his sculpture to the female nude.  He took up painting again in 1939 when he returned to his birthplace, Banyuls, but apart from his sculpture the most important works of his maturity are his book illustrations, which helped reestablish the art of the book in the 1920s and 1930s.

His finest achievements in this field are the woodcut illustrations, which he cut himself, which show superb economy of line.  He also made lithographic illustrations.

In 1934 Maillol met fifteen year old Dina Vierny.  She was still in high school, and he was seventy-three; she strongly resembled his sculptures and she began posing for him. At first she posed for just a head and within a year she advanced to posing nude.  She became his muse, and after his son Lucien's death the executor of his estate.

Maillol died in 1944.

Written and submitted by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.

Sources include:
The Oxford Dictionary of Art, Oxford University Press 1988 edited by Jan Chivers, Harold Osborne and consulting editor, Dennis Farr
"Keeper of the Flame" by Franke de Looper in Art & Antiques Magazine, September 2001

Biography from Auctionata
 In 1881, Aristide Maillol moved to Paris, where he first attended a drawing course at the École des Beaux-Arts as a student of the painter and sculptor Jean-Léon Gérôme. In the meantime, he took classes in sculpture at the arts college, before returning to the Academy, where he remained until 1893.  Maillol's recognition as a sculptor grew only gradually, forcing him to earn his livelihood with the restoration of stucco work. Success ensued after an exhibition in 1902, in which Ambroise Vollard presented 33 of Maillol’s works.  Two years later, he was included in a publication by Julius Meier-Graefe and made the acquaintance of his most important patron, the German art collector Harry Graf Kessler, with whom he traveled on several occasions and executed important commissions.

In 1913, Maillol had his first exhibition abroad, in Rotterdam.  This was followed by exhibitions at the Armory Show in New York and later at the Berlin gallery of Alfred Flechtheim, the Kunsthalle Basel, and the Petit Palais in Paris on the occasion of the World Exhibition in Paris.  Maillol initially devoted himself to painting, was a member of the Nabis group, and created tapestries.  From the mid-1890s on, he created primarily sculptures in plaster, wood, and bronze.  The main theme of his sculptural oeuvre is the female body.

Today Maillol's works can be found at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Neue Pinakothek in Munich.

Biography from Heritage Auctions
Aristide Maillol was a student at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1882, and joined the Nabis group in 1894. He maintained a tapestry workshop at Banyuls-sur-Mer from 1893 to 1900.

His sculptures were primarily female nudes, including la Mediterranee, which was exhibited in the Salon d'Automne of 1905. Later in his life, Maillol also executed woodcut illustrations for books, as well as sculptural monuments and war memorials.

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About  Aristide Maillol

Born:  1861 - Banyuls-sul-Mer, France
Died:   1944 - Banyuls-sul-Mer, France
Known for:  female figure sculpture, painting, woodcut illustration