Aristide Maillol: Exploring the Essence of Feminity

Today we are celebrating a birthday of a French sculptor, painter, and printmaker of fin de siècle – Aristide Maillol.   During the early stage of his life Maillol was close to the members of Nabis group, who positioned themselves as the followers of Paul Gauguin. Their style inclined towards decorativeness, and the artists applied it in screen-like paintings and sketches for the tapestries. Aristide actively participated in the production of the objects of applied arts, made of bronze, wood or ceramics, covering them with the images of the antique heroes. Maillol tried his hand in sculpture only at the age of 40, beginning with little art nouveua-like statuettes.  Gradually he developed a monumental style, based on clearness and stylization of forms. Though the simplicity of the sculptor’s style wasn’t always accepted by the public. For instance, his first public commission, “Monument to Cezanne” (1912), was rejected by the town of Aix and placed the Tuileries Garden in Paris. Here you can see the photo of this monument.

There’s no better way to describe Maillol’s artistic perception of the world than quoting him:
“Art is complex, I said to Rodin, who smiled because he felt that I was struggling with nature.. ..the beauty of Rodin’s art is.. the thoughts he embodied. As for me, I just take a walk on the beach. A young girl appears. From that girl walking there emanates a soul. That is That is at I want to give my statue, that thing alive, yet immaterial. In composing the figure of one young girl I must give the impression that there are all young girls. From the spirit, my feeling passes into my fingers “

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