Inscribed with the monogram M, with the foundry mark Alexis Rudier Fondeur Paris and numbered 5/6
Otto Gerson Gallery, Inc., New York (1962)
Sale: Christie's, New York, November 13, 1985, lot 210
Acquired at the above sale
John Rewald, Maillol, Paris, 1939, no. 70, illustration of the smaller version p. 165
Waldemar George, Aristide Maillol, Neuchâtel, 1965, illustration of another cast p. 199
Denis Chevalier, Maillol, New York, 1970, illustration of another cast p. 79
John Rewald, Aristide Maillol: 1861-1944 (exhibition catalogue), The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1975, illustration of another cast p. 83
Waldemar George, Aristide Maillol et l'âme de la sculpture, Neuchâtel, 1977, illustrtration of another cast p. 201
Bertrand Lorquin, Maillol aux Tuileries, Paris, 1991, illustration of another cast p. 14
Bertrand Lorquin, Aristide Maillol, London, 2002, illustration of another cast p. 102
Le Musée Maillol s'expose (exhibition catalogue), Paris, 2008, illustration of another cast in color p. 65
The beauty of the female body fascinated Maillol throughout his career, and the present sculpture is one of his most idealized representations. The sculpture is a medley of formal quotations that call to mind some of the greatest sculpture of the classical age. Standing with a raised foot forward and her arms akimbo behind her head, the figure could be considered a reinterpretation of the Nike of Samothrace. But Maillol's idealized first rendering of this figure at the beginning of the 20th century is emphatically avant-garde, characterized by a sleek linearity that would define the Modernist aesthetic. Bertrand Lorquin describes the true artistry at the heart of Maillol's work: "Maillol's sculpture achieves an ideal balance through the accuracy of its proportions as well as the harmoniousness of its compositions. Paul Valéry once said that sculpture is an art full of surprises, and at each moment the sculptor chooses his viewpoint among an infinite array of possibilities. A Maillol statue is a perpetual revelation of the type of beauty which the sculptor invented" (B. Lorquin, Aristide Maillol , op. cit., pp. 102-03).
Maillol created a smaller version of this sculpture in 1898, and enlarged it in a marble version in 1930 at the request of his Danish patron Johannes Rump. According to the late Dina Vierny, there were eight bronzes cast from this larger marble, including a numbered edition of six. Other casts from this edition are in the collections of the Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo and the Tuileries Gardens, Paris. Olivier Lorquin has confirmed that the present sculpture was cast during the artist's lifetime and that Maillol himself supervised the patination of the bronze.
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