Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Sculptor's Muse

This week's Thursday News of the Absurd Will Someone Please Write This Book Inspirational Moment (TNoftheAWSPWTBIM) is not absurd at all; it's just a book I think one of you should write.

From YahooNews/AP:

Dina Vierny, the muse to sculptor Maillol, dies

I did not recognize the name Maillol immediately, though I recognized his work (my favorite, La Nuit, to the right). And I did not know Dina Vierny, but listen to her life story:

Born in 1919 in what is now the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, and was then part of the Russian empire, Vierny fled Stalinist Russia with her family, settling in France.

Through a family friend, she was presented to Maillol, becoming his model in 1935. She collaborated with the artist until his death in a car accident in 1944, inspiring sleek, bold works like "La Montagne" (The Mountain), "L'Air" (Air) and "La Riviere" (The River), one of his last works.

She worked for the French Resistance during World War II, eventually getting herself arrested. Maillol sent her to southern France to stay with his friend Henri Matisse, reportedly instructing him to use her as a model. They became fast friends. She eventually also posed for Raoul Dufy and Pierre Bonnard, who used her as inspiration for his "Grand Nu Sombre."

Vierny grew into an art lover in her own right, opening a gallery in Paris' artsy Saint-Germain-des-Pres district as early as 1947. The statement by her sons, Bertrand and Olivier Lorquin, said their mother spent a lifetime "passionately attached to art," as exemplified by works collected at the Musee Maillol.

Wow. She only escaped Stalinist Russia, inspired Maillol and Matisse, worked for La Resistance, was in prison, and started a museum? I want a biography, a well-written, possibly historical fiction based on her life, illustrated with photos of Maillol's sculptures.

And it should be in the style of, um, darnit. I haven't read enough good historical fiction for kids. Who do I want?

And which one of you will write me Dina's story?

* photo from Wikimedia Commons


Ann Finkelstein said...

Wasn't she interviewed on Morning Edition (NPR) just a couple weeks ago?

Jacqui said...

Ann, I missed it. Was it good? Are you going to use it to research the book you'll write me? :)