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Aristide Joseph Bonaventure Maillol (1861-1944)

Aristide Joseph Bonaventure Maillol (1861-1944)


"Chloe Bathing in Caves of the Nymphs" 1937


5" x 3.25" Image

11.25" x 10.25" Frame

Provenance: Petteplace Gallery, Hamilton, ON; Private Collection, Hamilton, ON

Aristide Joseph Bonaventure Maillol (French: [mɑjɔl]; December 8, 1861 – September 27, 1944) was a French sculptor, painter, and printmaker.

Born in Banyuls-sur-Mer, Roussillon, he decided at an early age to become an artist. He moved to Paris in 1881 to study art, and after several attempts, was finally accepted to theÉcole des Beaux-Artsin 1885. Early in his career, Maillol was encouraged by artist and friend Paul Gauguin to develop an interest in tapestry design. By 1893, Maillol had opened a tapestry workshop and become renowned throughout France.

In 1895, Maillol began experimenting with terracotta, which eventually led to his complete focus on sculpture. His first major sculpture,A Seated Woman, was modeled after his wife Clotilde Narcis, whom he married in July 1896. This led to his first exhibition in 1902, arranged by the legendary art dealer Ambroise Vollard.

Through his work, which centered almost exclusively on classical representations of the female form, Maillol’s serene style served as an influence for European and American figurative sculpture until the end of World War II. Maillol’s sculpturesThe Mediterranean(1901) andNight(1902) show restraint and clear composition, in contrast to his contemporary, Auguste Rodin’s emotionally charged sculptures. In 1912, Maillol received a commission for a monument to Cézanne, followed by several post-war public commissions. Although his body of work is primarily sculpture, Maillol also created a series of woodcut illustrations for books of ancient poetry by Virgil and Ovid, and returned to painting near the end of his career.

On September 27, 1944, Maillol died in a car accident at age 83. He had one child, son Lucien, from his marriage. Maillol’s home near Banyuls has been turned into a museum, and a large collection of his work is preserved at theMusée Maillolin Paris.


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