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Aristide Maillol

Aristide Maillol (1861-1944), French Catalan sculptor and painter.

Aristide Maillol was born on April 8, 1861, at Banyuls-sur-Mer, Roussillon, France near the Mediterranean Sea. Maillol studied in Paris, under renowned teacher Antoine Bourdelle and at the École des Beaux Arts.

Aristide Maillol played an important role in the development of sculpture, from Romanticism to the modern sculptors of the twentieth-century. He is best known for his substantial, full-breasted female nudes. This tradition would be taken to extremes by Gaston Lachaise, who thereby moved sculpture closer to abstract art.

The paintings of his contemporaries Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Paul Gauguin gave direction to his own painting and pointed out to him the need for the decorative elements to predominate in a work of art. He decided to manufacture tapestries and to that end started a small studio in his home town of Banyuls, employing village girls on the weaving and using home-made dyes

He died in September 27, 1944, following an accident while driving back home when there was a rain shower and the car in which he was a passenger skidded off the road and overturned. Dina Vierny, Maillol's companion during the last 10 years of his life, established the Maillol Museum in Paris.