Maillol - Exhibition catalogue
Initially a painter, Maillol turned to tapestry and the decorative arts. Little known, this first part of his career, during which he looked at Gauguin and Puvis de Chavannes and forged close links with the Nabis, shows an artist eager to rediscover the principles of mural decoration.
He only discovered sculpture around 1895, initially on wood and of small dimensions: Octave Mirbeau and Ambroise Vollard among others recognised its qualities.
The Mediterranean made for Count Kessler appears to be the manifesto of the "return to order", of which Maillol is a major player: proscribing any search for expression, he establishes a new classicism and inscribes female bodies, with their robust and sensual anatomy, in simple geometric forms.
Maillol passe avec aisance de l'esquisse au monumental, dans des allers-retours continuels. L'imposant Monument à Cézanne invite à plonger dans son processus créateur, avant les grandes figures, aboutissement d'un parcours dans lequel la recherche d'une perfection formelle tient une place essentielle.
Exhibition at the musée d'Orsay from 12 April to 21 August 2022
Coédition Gallimard / Musée d'Orsay