Aristide Joseph Bonaventure Maillol (December 8, 1861 – September 27, 1944) was a French famous sculptor and painter. His early paintings show the influence of his contemporaries Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Paul Gauguin.
- He [ Renoir; Maillol made his bust] was very interested, watching me do his bust. He said to me: 'Every time you touch it, it becomes more alive.'
- In a letter, 14th May 1887; as quoted in Renoir – his life and work, Francois Fosca, Book Club Associates /Thames and Hudson Ltd, London 1975, p. 245-246
- Mademoiselle, I am told that you look like a Renoir and Maillol [as a model]. I would be happy with a Renoir.
- in a letter (1939) to his late model Dina Vierny; as quoted in Dictionary of artists’ models, Jill Berk Jiminez, Taylor and Francis 2001, p. 550
- I seek beauty, not character. For me portraiture and statuary are completely opposed to each other.
- remark to his biographer Judith Cladel (1939 - 1944); as quoted in Dictionary of artists’ models, Jill Berk Jiminez, Taylor and Francis 2001, p. 550
- My sculpture is altogether different from Rodin’s.. ..In sculpture he [Rodin] always sees the flesh first. [answering his critics]
- In: 'Aristide Maillol', George Waldemar (1965) p. 46; as quoted in 'A sculpture of interior Solitude', Angelo Carnafa, Associated University Presse, 1999, p. 166
- The first thing that strikes [one] in Cézanne is not apples, but balance of tones. With elements drawn from nature, what did [Cézanne] attempt? To create, to arouse powerful feeling, to awaken in the hearts of men that which is eternal in men.
- in a writing of Maillol, quoted in 'Aristide Maillol', ed. Andrew C. Ritchie, Albright Art Gallery N Y 1945, p. 31; as quoted by Angelo Carnafa, in 'A sculpture of interior Solitude', Associated University Presse, 1999, p. 168
- Art is complex, I said to Rodin, who smiled because he felt that I was struggling with nature.. ..the beauty of Rodin’s art is.. ..in the thoughts he embodied. As for me, I just take a walk on the beach. A young girl appears. From that girl walking there emanates a soul. That is That is at I want to give my statue, that thing alive, yet immaterial. In composing the figure of one young girl I must give the impression that there are all young girls. From the spirit, my feeling passes into my fingers
- as quoted in 'Aristide Maillol', ed. Andrew C. Ritchie, Albright Art Gallery N Y 1945, p. 31 + 45; as quoted by Angelo Carnafa, in ’A sculpture of interior Solitude’, Associated University Presse, 1999, p. 167
- I make [figures] in which I try to give an impression of the whole.
- A [figure] interests me when I can bring architecture out of it.
- as quoted in ’A sculpture of interior Solitude’, by Angelo Carnafa, Associated University Presse, 1999, p. 167
Conversations with Judith Cladel (1939–1944)
- Conversations with Judith Cladel (1939–1944); as quoted in Artists on Art – from the 14th to the 20th centuries, ed. by Robert Goldwater and Marco Treves; Pantheon Books, 1972, London
- The particular does not interest me; I find meaning only in a general idea. In Michelangelo one is carried away by the idea of power, the whole single-minded concept he imposed on himself. The 'Slaves' and the 'Medici tombs' are sculpture made to be seen only from one side. For me, sculpture means the block; my figure of 'France' has more than twenty different sides. When I enlarged it only four were left, and I had to rework it..
- p. 406
- I have a weakness for Egyptian sculpture: its figures are sculptured gods, sculptured ideas. Very different in expression, Hindu sculpture is based on very similar assumptions.. .The oriental people are much more artistic than we. When nations grow old, their art grows complicated and soft.
- p. 406
- We should try to return to our youth, to work naively; this is what I see, and it is why I have such success, because our century has tried to return to the primitive. I work as if no art had ever been made, before me, as if I had never learned anything. I am the first man to do sculpture.
- pp. 406-407
- Negro art contains more ideas than Greek art. Its strange inventiveness of form is astonishing, and its imagination and extraordinary sense of decoration are difficult to explain. We dare not take such liberties; but the Negroes have succeeded. We are too much the subjects of our own past..
- p. 407
- Those who do Negro-sculpture in this country are wrong. We are in France; in the country of Ronsard, La Fontaine, and Racine. What connection is there between this country and these men, and Negro sculpture? An artist can only create in accordance with the character of his people and his time.
- p. 407
- When Picasso does pure painting he is a great artist. When he paints as an cubist, putting one tone next to another, the arrangement of planes is fine and the result very strong. But those who imitate him achieve nothing worthwhile.
- p. 407
- For my taste, sculpture should have as little movement as possible. It should not fall, and gesture, and grimace, and if one depicts movement, grimaces come too easily. Rodin himself remains quiet; he puts movement into his rendering of muscles, but the whole remains quiet and calm.
- p. 407
- The more immobile Egyptian statues are, the more it seems as if they would move.. ..immobility of the body does not mean immobility of the flesh; in my model for the monument to Cézanne the whole figure is quiet, but there are several movements in the torso.
- pp. 407 – 408
- w:Donatello’s art does not come out of nature, it belongs to the studio. He exaggerates to make it lifelike. His weeping children grimace frightfully.. .When movement is excessive it is frozen: it no longer represents life.
- p. 408
- The immobility that the artist creates is not at all that of the photograph. A worth of art contains latent life, possibility of movement; a grimace made eternal does not represent life. One always talks of w:Donatello, but never of della Quercia. Yet della Qercia invented w:Michelangelo’s style before Michelangelo.
- p. 408
Quotes about Aristide Maillol
- [Maillol] represents plastic form in its essential massiveness, to allow it to stand resolutely and assertively in space. A torso by Maillol is a palpable reality; we may apprehend it visually, but the eye is not.. ..flattered.
- Herbert Read, as quoted in 'A sculpture of interior Solitude', Angelo Carnafa, Associated University Presse, 1999, p. 167
- Like Claudel, Maillol has experienced doubt and despair and bitter disillusion.. ..but we who admire his works today forget the toil and suffering.. ..when we are in front of a piece of his work, we seem to share the.. ..joy which inspired his fingers when they touched the clay or the chisel.
- John Rewald, as quoted in 'A sculpture of interior Solitude', Angelo Carnafa, Associated University Presse, 1999, p. 167
- These archaic ideas, Greek, were the great novelty Maillol brought into the tendency of modern sculpture. What you need to love from the ancients is not the antiquity, it is the sense of permanent, renewed novelty, that is due to the nature and reason.
- Josep Pla, in Arístides Maillol, escultor, Homenots, 3a sèrie. OC XXI, 19. Dues mirades a Maillol. Josep Pla i Torres Monsó, Fundació Josep Pla, retrieved May 31, 2013
- The themes of childhood, love and joy underlie the works of both Claudel and Maillol – and like Claudel Maillol retained his purity of soul and his clarity of vision during his troubled years.
- Angelo Carnafa, in 'A sculpture of interior Solitude', Associated University Presse, 1999, p. 166