Aristide MAILLOL


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Status, price and estimation of the artist Aristide MAILLOL

Estimate for a sculpture by the artist at auction: €10,000 – €500,000

Price of a watercolour or drawing by the artist: 200 – 10,000 €.

A versatile sculptor

Sculptor, painter, engraver and illustrator, Aristide Maillol was born in Banyuls-sur-Mer on 8 December 1861 and died in Perpignan on 24 September 1944.

Gifted in drawing, at the age of 21 he received a scholarship to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris: however, he did not enter the school until 1885 because he did not pass the entrance exam on the first try.

At school he learned painting, as well as sculpture and tapestry: his first teachers were Jean-Paul Laurens, Gérôme and especially Cabanel.

The period of misery that he experienced during his stay in Paris led him to travel to Cataluña and Barcelona.

Returning to Paris in the early 1990s, he was impressed by Gauguin’s paintings and began to take an interest in the art of tapestry, which he exhibited regularly at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. In 1893, Ripple-Ronait introduced him to the Nabis group, but two years later Maillol left Paris to open a tapestry workshop in his home town of Banuyls. In 1897 he moved to Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, where he founded his own studio.

The sources of modern art

His first great influence was the Impressionists, but the work of Gauguin on his return from Tahiti marked his style: from 1895 onwards he began to make his first wooden sculptures. On his return to Paris, he produced statuettes and began the art of ceramics.

It was from 1900 onwards that Maillol devoted himself exclusively to sculpture: his Nabis friends, who often visited his home, often represented his terracottas in their works.

Maillol’s success

His recognition as a sculptor began in 1902 when the famous art dealer Ambroise Vollard organised the first exhibition devoted entirely to Maillol. The meeting in 1904 with Count Harry Kessler, his greatest admirer and patron, and the success at the Salon d’Automne the following year with the statue Méditerranée, were the basis of his fortune. From 1913 Maillol was exhibited in the Netherlands, but also in the USA, England and Germany. At the height of his fame, in 1934, he met Dina Vierny, who was only 15 years old at the time: she was to be the originator of the Maillol Museum. In his last years, the sculptor returned to his roots: he resumed painting and drawing and lived alone in the mountains.

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