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Musée Maillol


Death of Aristide Maillol

On 15 September 1944, Maillol decided to visit Raoul Dufy in Vernet-Les-Bains. As Dr Nicolau was driving him there by car, they were involved in a serious accident. Maillol's jaw was damaged. He could no longer talk. He died at home of uremia in Banyuls on 27 September.



Maillol exhibited a plaster statue called Pomone at the Salon d'Automne in 1910, which had considerable success in the international art press. The Russian collector Morozov bought it, and commissioned three more sculptures: L'Eté (Summer), Le Printemps (Spring), La Flore (Flora).
Maillol was also commissioned by Cézanne to produce a monument for the town of Aix-en-Provence. It was moved to the Tuileries Garden in Paris in 1929. 


International artist

Maillol's first solo exhibition outside of France was held in the Netherlands from 13 April to 4 May 1913. It included 8 very large sculptures, plaster models, Pomone, Flore, 5 drawings and 60 photographs of other Maillol pieces by Eugène Druet. The same year, several of his pieces were exhibited in the US, at the famous Armory Show. In 1928, he exhibited at the Goupil Gallery in London, then in Berlin, at Flechtheim. In 1933, he had a major exhibition at the Brummer Gallery in New York. The same year, a retrospective was dedicated to him at the Kunsthalle in Basel.


Famous residents

In the 19th century, the building was home to some famous figures, such as the poet Alfred de Musset, who lived there for many years with his mother. The painter Paul Jacques Aimé Baudry also had a vast workshop there, which was faithfully conserved during the renovation of the museum, and which now hosts the life-size sculptures of Maillol, on the second floor.


Studying in Paris

In 1882, at the age of 21, Maillol decided to follow his dream of going to Paris. He sat the entrance exam for the Ecole des Beaux-Arts several times, and was finally admitted on 17 March 1885, in the Painting and Sculpture department. His teachers were Jean-Paul Laurens, Gérôme and of course Cabanel. During this period he experienced great poverty. Malnourished, he became ill and was hospitalised several times.


A venue for culture and events

In 1951, the Prévert brothers opened a cabaret, the Fontaine des Quatre-Saisons, in the great exhibition hall with standing columns on the ground floor. It was here that Boris Vian, a regular visitor, created Le Déserteur (the Deserter); Francis Blanche presented his sketches; and the Jacques brothers and Yves Montand sang the poems of Prévert, put to music by Kosma. A plethora of young artists made their débuts here: Maurice Béjart, Guy Bedos, Pierre Perret, Jean Yanne, Philippe Clay, Jacques Dufilho, and many more.


Opening of the Musée Maillol

After 15 years of renovation work, as Dina Vierny wanted, a museum dedicated to Maillol finally opened its doors on 20 January 1995. Inaugurated by the President of the Republic, François Mitterrand, it presented the largest ever collection of the artist's works, giving a complete picture of his oeuvre in terms of sculpture, painting, drawing, terracotta and tapestry. Dina Vierny entrusted the leadership of the museum and the management of temporary exhibitions to her sons Olivier and Bertrand Lorquin until 2009.