Maillol exhibits a tapestry which cannot be too highly
Paul GAUGUIN, 1894.
These designs, although brilliant in colour, are never
crude, and the compositions are particularly satisfying;
this is especially true of the red and saffron panel, in
which the red is unique, so fresh that it seems full of
light and air.
Madame HARLOR, writing on the subject
of the tapestries of Aristide Maillol 1902.
It is distressing to think that such a man is still hardly
Octabe MIRBEAU, 1905.
Maillol does not proceed from an idea, which he claims
to express in marble; he starts from the material itself,
be it clay or stone; you feel he has contemplated it for
a long time, then rough-hewn it and then emancipated
it with forceful carresses. Every one of his works retains
a little elementary heaviness.
André GIDE, 1905.
In all modern sculpture I do not know of a piece which
is as absolutely beautiful, as absolutely pure, as absolutely a masterpiece as Leda.
Maillol strives to create forms of perfect beauty and simplicity. The object admired by his senses and everything which he loves in nature are presented in the framework of the few conventions which he has invented. Ingenuously, unconsciously perhaps, he builds up a a classical composition. No superfluous elements mar the tranquillity of his figures, some of which have the purity of a Tanagra statue.
No romanticism, no literary influence obscure his unsophisticated vision of these beautiful bodies, so worthy of love, shameless as though they were without passion, animal-like in the directness of their attraction. His plump and healthy muses, whose nonchalant attitudes indicate their earthly descent, stand motionless in all the splendour of their nudity. Human figures in stone, they would be cold but for a quivering of the skin,