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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Influential Women

It has only been in the last hundred years or so that women have had any degree of influence as artists.  However, we tend to forget that (with few exceptions) every male artist is influenced by women, either in what they paint (often nudes), why they paint (to escape their wives), or even how they paint (to sell work and support their wives).  Not that the wives of artists have it easy (or ever did have it easy, for that matter).  The personal lives of artists are replete with stories and anecdotes of the suffering, and often humiliation, these women endured for the men they loved.

Madame Cezanne, 1891-92,
Paul Cezanne

The Artist's Family, 1896,
Auguste Renoir
Hortense, the wife of Paul Cezanne, was originally his mother's maid.  She bore him a child and stood by him for 14 years before Cezanne dared marry her and risk the wrath of his father, who supported him financially.  When finally he dared present his wife and son to his family, he was chagrinned to find they'd known about Hortense and the boy all along.

Lise Trihot was originally a model for the impressionist artist, Auguste Renoir.  On one occassion, while walking two of their children along the river near their home, she came very close to throwing herself into it. During their lifetime together she bore Renoir no less than seven children, five of them boys, all of whom later became artists.  Perhaps that explains a lot about the walk along the river.

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