WTF Art History

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  1. A River, Stabbed in the Back

    Aristide Maillol,River, 1939-43, lead.  Museum of Modern Art, New YorkAristide Maillol, The River, 1939-43, lead.  Museum of Modern Art, New York

    Aristide Maillol, River, 1939-43, lead.  Norton Simon Museum, PasadenaAristide Maillol, The River, 1939-43, lead.  Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena

    Maillol’s enigmatic sculptureThe Riverhides a chilling truth: the cavorting female figure was originally designed around the theme of war as a monument to a pacifist, and thus the figure was meant to resemble a woman stabbed in the back.  The two versions of the sculpture at the Norton Simon Museum and the Museum of Modern Art are installed near water, making a literal connection with the works’ re-christening asThe River.

    Maillol’s work centered around the female nude and it’s important to remember that his sculptures were rivaled by Auguste Rodin (who sculpted The Thinker among other works).  Enjoy a few other views of The River below.  Also, listen to audio commentary about the piece from the Norton Simon and MoMA.

    Aristide Maillol, The River, 1939-43, lead.  Norton Simon Museum, PasadenaAristide Maillol, The River, 1939-43, lead.  Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena

    Aristide Maillol, The River, 1939-43, lead.  Museum of Modern Art, New YorkAristide Maillol, The River, 1939-43, lead.  Museum of Modern Art, New York

     
     
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