Aristide Maillol
Eve with the Apple

Eve with the Apple
Aristide Maillol (1861-1944)
Eve with the Apple
1899
Bronze statuette
H.58; L.21; D. 13 cm
© ADAGP, Paris - RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

Eve à la pomme [Eve with the Apple]


About 1895, Maillol, who had first worked with painting, tapestry and ceramics, turned to sculpture. He started by carving wood and modelling clay. His first attempts were furniture for family use and statuettes and small reliefs which already showed signs of monumentality and harmony. Many were female nudes which later became his favourite theme.

From his first works it was clear that the sculptor stubbornly refused Rodin's legacy. He opted for blissfully ample volumes and the purity of smooth surfaces. Maurice Denis called Maillol a 'primitive classic'.
He cared little for titles: historical, allegorical or Biblical anecdotes disappeared; attributes and accessories vanished. The apple that Eve is holding in her left hand is so small it can easily be overlooked.
There are other versions of this Eve which testify to the artist's early experiments with form and technique: one is a torso, another is a frontal fragment, fringed with barbs of cast iron. Maillol closely supervised the transposition of his modelled and fired clay figures into bronze. He wanted to participate in all the steps of the casting of his first editions, commissioned by the art dealer Ambroise Vollard. In 1905, he went as far as learning the techniques of moulding, casting, chasing and patina from Bingen and Costenoble, the bronze founder who cast this Eve with the Apple.


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