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Study for Laurier
1937-1943 Woodcut



Aristide Maillol (1861-1944)

1937 to 1943
Woodcut in Sanguine Ink on Vellum Paper with the artist's watermark
27"x31" framed, 9.5"x12.75" unframed paper size

Framed in a restored antique wood frame with ornate floral carvings, natural patina and multi-toned finish with gold detail using archival matting behind conservation clear glass.

Stamped monogram of the artist on the lower left. Stamped with the Bassett collection estate stamp on the back. Paper Vélin with a customized watermark, reprensenting Artistide Maillol's statue La Mediterrannée. This woodcut is part of the final illustration for the titlepage of Laurier, from Virgile's Les Géorgiques Volume II, published by Philippe Gonin in 1950. Aristide Maillol worked on the woodcuts between 1937 and 1943, producing around 100 woodcuts and historiated initials. Excellent vintage condition.

From the estate of Edyth and Phillip Bassett.

Aristide Maillol was a French artist known for his influence on modern sculpture, breaking traditional methods in the field and highlighting the use of simplified shapes and forms. 

Maillol left boarding school in 1879 to return home where he resolved to become a professional artist. Two years later he enrolled in art classes at the nearby Musée Hyacinthe Rigaud, eventually finishing his studies at École des Beaux-Arts in 1885. Maillol was deeply inspired by the work of the modernist painter Paul Gauguin, stating, “Gauguin's painting was a revelation to me. Instead of enlightening me, the École des Beaux-Arts had thrown a veil over my eyes.” Maillol soon set up his own house and studio in the Villeneuve Saint-Georges section of Paris which would become the well known gathering place for the Nabi artist group and others including Henri Matisse (who became a lifelong friend) and Pablo Picasso.

Aristide Maillol helped alter fixed ideas about modern sculpture. Looking back in history to the idealized forms of classical sculpture, he created modern works that were not committed to capturing impressions of motion. Rather than striving to render the "living" figure, Maillol created what author Bertrand Lorquin called "pure sculpture based on the body's architecture and on a harmony between volumes". His drive towards more idealized, simplified, forms provided the foundation for the next generation of sculptors. His influence can be traced in the sculptures of Jean Arp, Constantin Brancusi, and Henry Moore. 

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