The French artistAristide Maillolmade various monumental and figurative sculptures throughout his life. We have already talked about some of them here, as is the case of La Mediterránea, which can be found in the Tuileries Gardens in France. And precisely in those same gardens is the first of his monumental works. It's The Night. A work that he initially carved in marble in 1902 and that was later molded to be cast in bronze
As on other occasions in Maillol's career, it is about a woman with an absolute simplicity in her forms, which at the same time are resounding and with a certain impenetrable character. And there is also another characteristic element in his art, and that is that they are nude figures that we immediately associate withclassical art, and yet radically modern
Those nudes in principle do not make any sense from an allegorical or literary point of view. With this, in reality, what he intends is to embody elegance itself, the essence. Look for volume, a naked volume that invites aesthetic enjoyment. They are transferred to another moment in some way related to times of Arcadia, just as in painting Matisse was going to do later with La Danza.
Maillol became a key link in the evolution of 20th century sculpture. On the one hand, he is an artist whoHe began as a painter and his training in sculpture was totally self-taught. He is in charge of modeling his works, while the carvers, thanks to the dot technique, transferred those models to marble or thanks to the making of molds they became bronze. In that, we can say that he was a sculptor of the old school. But formally he has nothing to do with the previous art. Not even withRodin, since Maillol resorts to highly synthetic forms, which is totally modern in his time
On the other hand, he is an eminently figurative artist, with recognizable forms, often charged with sensuality, however he is advancing towards a geometric volumetry that will greatly influence the avant-gardes that are approaching.
In short, as we said at the beginning, he is one of the giants of the art of sculpture. A wonderful finishing touch to centuries of figurative art, which he never gives up. On the contrary, you always see a tribute to the classics. But at the same time he is innovating in form, giving up a descriptive idea of sculpture and seeking the regeneration of this artistic discipline