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Aristide Maillol (1861-1944)
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Aristide Maillol (1861-1944)

Baigneuse drapée (La Seine)

Aristide Maillol (1861-1944)
Baigneuse drapée (La Seine)
bronze with dark green patina
69¼ x 27 1/8 x 17¾in. (179 x 69 x 45 cm.)
Conceived in 1921, this work is an artist's proof from an edition of six plus four artist's proofs
B. Lorquin, Maillol aux Tuileries, Paris, 1991, p. 41 (illustrated).
B. Lorquin, Aristide Maillol, London, 1995, p. 93 (illustrated).
D. Vierny, Fondation Dina Vierny, Musée Maillol, Paris, 1995, p. 71 (another cast illustrated).
U. Berger & J. Zutter, Aristide Maillol, Munich, 1996, no. 74, pp. 158 & 196-97 (illustrated).
Special notice

From time to time, Christie's may offer a lot which it owns in whole or in part. This is such a lot.
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Sale room notice
Please note that the present sculpture is signed 'A.MAILLOL' (on the base by the figure's left foot) and bears the foundry mark 'Alexis Rudier Fondeur Paris' (on the back of the base).

The present work was cast during the artist's lifetime.

Please note that the provenance should read:
The artist, and thence by descent.

Lot Essay

Conceived in 1921, Baigneuse drapée (La Seine) is a refined and elegant example of Maillol's sculpture that perfectly displays the qualities inherent in his work. This sculpture is clearly a product of its age, with the impressive woman striding like some representation of victory towards the viewer. At the same time, the neo-Classicism so evident in this sculpture reflects the artistic interests of an age that was seeking a retour à l'ordre after the turmoil of the First World War.

In Baigneuse drapée (La Seine), Maillol reprised a theme that had featured throughout his career. Indeed, at the time that this work was conceived, a sculpture of the same theme but executed fifteen years earlier was in the artist's garden. His interests had by now changed, and the strange position that the artist occupied in the modern canon had been consolidated. Maillol's sculptures are neither entirely abstract nor entirely figurative, and are far from allegorical. In this work, Maillol has captured the sense of the Seine, Paris' great river. It is not a mere representation, and he has not resorted to symbolism in order to convey his meaning. Instead he has created a woman in the most classic of forms, reminiscent at once of Archaic Greek and Oriental sculpture, a universal form of female whose body, stride and drapery gives the viewer a sense both of timelessness and of movement. With this paradoxical quality, Maillol has created the perfect image for the River Seine.

Of the casts Maillol created of Baigneuse drapée (La Seine), several are in public collections, including one in the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Calais.

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