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Major and Verne

   The quality of the model can not only arouse the creative enthusiasm of the artist engaged in fine arts, but also affect the success or failure of the work, and even determine his artistic life. Mayor and his model Dina Verney are a wonderful example of this.

  Aristy Mayor (1861-1944) was an outstanding French sculptor in the 19th century and one of the pioneers of modern sculpture, known as "the outstanding singer of female body beauty". His works are simple and simple, plump and powerful, deep and powerful, and what he sings about is not the beauty of the female body, but the inner vitality. However, his family was poor, frail and sickly, and his middle-aged eyes were seriously ill, so he was unable to engage in painting and craftsmanship. Around 1900, he turned to specializing in sculpture. Due to genius and diligence, he soon created a handed down treasure such as "Mediterranean".

  In 1934, when he was 70 years old, due to physical exhaustion, he decided to retire to enjoy his old age. In a conversation with the architect Dondale, I learned that there was a Russian schoolgirl named Dina Verny, who was snow-skinned, plump, and strong, and she was a "living Mayor's work". ”, or rather the miraculous creation of nature. These words aroused the curiosity of Mayor, and decided to see this "Mayor's work" that he didn't even know about as soon as possible. So he asked Dondale to bring a note to Verney, and agreed on a date for the meeting.

  To be honest, although Europe opened up earlier, most of the people who were willing to be models for artists at that time were "unclean women", the so-called vulnerable groups, which were despised by the upper classes. In "Biography of 50 Art Masters in Western Europe" (People's Fine Arts Publishing House, 1981 edition), there is a paragraph that says that Cezanne, known as the father of modern painting, ran away from home to avoid military service when he was young, "in a place not far from Marseille with a model He lived with his son Gautinzia Fika. She soon became his wife. Their marriage was kept secret from his father for a long time. By 1878 Cézanne's father (a banker) learned about it by accident and told him The son punished him and cut his living expenses in half", and then the quarrel almost broke away from the father-son relationship. The model of Manet, the father of Impressionism, was "a prostitute brought back from the street" (Zhu Boxiong edited "The World's Masterpieces of Fine Arts Appreciation Dictionary"). Manet used her to paint "Lunch on the Grass" and "Olympia", and was scolded as "immoral", so that even Manet's mother gave her son a lesson.

  Although the salary of a mannequin was three or four times higher than that of the average worker at the time, which was attractive to a poor student, as a 17-year-old girl, it took a lot of courage to take this step.

  One Sunday morning, Virney took a train to Maior's residence, Barnis, a small town on the southwestern frontier of France, without telling her parents. “It was in Barniers,” Virney recalls. “There wasn’t a girl worthy of respect who wanted to be a mannequin. That would have caused a scandal. A few months later my parents found out about it, and my father was furious. Its fire, but it's too late, just let it go... The first time I met Mayor he was 73 and no longer sculpting. He had neither the energy nor the desire. But when he saw me That is to say, his interest in sculpture is back. I am the representation of his longing for spirits. He used to draw human bodies like me out of his imagination. At this point he happily called his wife to watch together, and said 'This is not a work that simulates nature, but a nature that simulates art.'"

  This meeting rekindled Mayor's creative enthusiasm, inspired him spiritually, and enabled him to overcome his illness and resume his work. For 10 years, until he finally died in a car accident.

  "Since that day, I've been modeling at Mayor every Wednesday. Because I don't have classes on Wednesdays," Verne said. "If it's winter or summer vacation, I'll go to his studio as required. At first it was a long time. I didn't take off my clothes for a while. He only let me show my knees or a little thigh. But then it was not difficult for me to undress in front of Mayor, and I took it off as I wanted." the big girl. But in front of Mayor, he was simply a naughty child, lying on the ground with his feet in the air, like he was acting like a spoiled child.

  "Our relationship is built on mutual trust," says Virney. "He's very funny, chatty, and he's always chatting with me at work. Thankfully, otherwise I wouldn't be able to sit 10 times a day. Hours...Mayor is not a cat and a tiger to me. I can move around. I like political economy, physics and chemistry. I can read books and do my homework as a model. He made a desk for me. His In "Harmony," I bowed my head because I was reading. Mayor used to joke with me, 'Next time I'm looking for a model, I'm going to look for an illiterate'. He has a lot of experience and tells me about Gide The works of (French writer), Corbusier (Swiss architect), Matisse, Bernard and Dufy (all famous contemporary French painters) opened up another world before my eyes."

  Virney is also a diligent A student, she modeled while telling stories about the German philosopher Heidegger, the French poet Breton and the Austrian psychiatrist Freud. It's really a bosom friend, Mayor regarded Verne as his daughter, and later became his righteous daughter. Virney regards Mayor as her father. They are acquaintances, comrades and anti-fascist comrades-in-arms.

  During World War II, after the German army occupied France, a puppet regime headed by Pétain was established there. The French rose up in resistance, and the resistance movement developed rapidly. Many wise men trying to escape fascist rule often crossed the southwestern border of France and fled to Spain. Verne, who was in Baniers, used Mayor's studio as their liaison and transfer point. Mayor also fully supported this righteous act, and personally developed a better stealth route for them. Verney was arrested in 1941. Mayor traveled everywhere and entrusted her friend, lawyer Pierre Cameau, to defend her, and finally set her free. For the safety of his adopted daughter, Mayor sent her to Matisse and Bonnard, where she also modeled for Picasso. "Picasso was not a Platonic spiritual lover. He was 60 years old at the time, and he wanted me to sleep with him." But Verne, who had knowledge, ideals, and aspirations, subtly rejected him, and they were still good friends.

  Virney was arrested again in 1943, and thanks to Picasso's timely delivery of information, Maior was able to rescue her with the assistance of the sculptor Blake. The following year, Mayor died of injuries in a car accident. In addition to grief, Verne vowed to build a Mayor museum to immortalize him. She said: “Greco was only discovered more than two hundred years after his death. Desbio was also a great sculptor of our time. But he is barely remembered today because no one protects their works. .” But building the museum is a hugely expensive project, and it cannot be done for the time being.

  Therefore, Verne's first step was to ask the Minister of Culture, the writer Andre Malraux for help, and to send him 18 original plaster works of Mayor, cast by the state, and displayed in the Durer next to the Louvre Museum. In the garden of the Royal Palace, it is a world-class artwork for people to appreciate. This is a great honor for an artist.

  The work of building the museum took Virney half a century. During this period, she successfully ran a business, selling her beloved long-term collection of antique dolls, raising more than 30 million US dollars, and in 1995, her long-cherished wish was realized on 59th Street in Paris. Virney, the self-directed curator, is a well-known connoisseur and art critic today, and has published many books and papers on Mayor. Mayor is immortal, and Verne is also passed down as a legend, immortalized in Mayor's works. "Atmosphere" is one of Mayor's masterpieces with Verne as the model. Atmosphere is something that cannot be left in an instant in life, implying the vitality of life and life. Atmosphere is a frivolous thing. Using heavy materials such as stone and metal to express frivolity has always been a noble pursuit of sculptors. Here, through the reclining posture of the human body, the gently raised left hand and thigh, Mayor makes the heavy figure seem to float in the air, which is a must. The title picture is 17-year-old Virney. She seemed to be sitting on the grass in front of Mayor, chatting and laughing with ease.


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