Maillol's most successful compositions are defined by their idealized rendering of the female body. In his monograph of the artist, Waldemar George noted that the figure here is Maillol's interpretation of a specifically French female body type, with her petite facial features and more athletic constitution than the Mediterranean models that Maillol had sculpted in the past. As the embodiment of the strength and vigor for which this important region is known, Île-de-France is perfectly proportioned and her pose beautifully captures the force of her movement as she rises out of the water. Maillol's idea for this sculpture originated in 1907, and over the course of fifteen years he repeatedly refined his composition to best suit his allegorical theme. The form he arrived at between 1921-25 presents the full female figure and was cast in an edition of six. He also carved a marble version in 1933, now a part of the Musée d'Orsay's collection (see fig. 3).
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