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Aristide Maillol was born in a small town in the Pyrenees in 1861, and went to Paris in 1882 to study painting. His early work from the 1890's was decorative in style and symbolist in subject.

In 1900, Maillol turned to sculpture, making terracotta, stone and bronzes of nude female figures in simple poses. The form of a full and vigorous nude represented in simple, solid, basic volumes with smooth masses, sustained his muse throughout his entire career. The works are classical in spirit in that they show no emotion or individuality. In fact, Maillol has been considered the artist that represents the classical tradition within the context of modern art and the 20th century.