Wednesday, 20 June 2018

125) Misia Sert

Misia Sert (born Maria Zofia Olga Zenajda Godebska; 1872 – 1950). Pianist of Polish descent who hosted an artistic salon in Paris. She was a patron and friend of numerous artists, for whom she regularly posed.
At age 21, Sert married her twenty-year-old cousin Thadée (Tadeusz) Natanson, a Polish émigré. Natanson frequented the haunts favored by the artistic and intellectual circles of Paris. He became involved in political causes, championing the ideals of socialism, which he shared with his friend Leon Blum, and was a Dreyfusard. The Natanson home on the Rue St. Florentine became a gathering place, for such cultural lights as Marcel Proust, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Odilon Redon, Paul Signac, Claude Debussy, Stéphane Mallarmé, and André Gide.
On 24 February 1905 Sert became the wife of Alfred Edwards. Sert and her new husband took up an opulent lifestyle in their apartment on Rue de Rivoli, overlooking the Tuileries Palace. Here Sert continued welcoming artists, writers, and musicians in her home. Maurice Ravel dedicated Le Cygne (The Swan) in "Histoires naturelles" and La Valse (The Waltz) to her. Sert accompanied Enrico Caruso on the piano while the opera star entertained the assembled listeners with a repertory of Neapolitan songs. Edwards proved an unfaithful husband, and Sert divorced him in 1909.

In 1920, Sert married her third husband, Catalan painter José-Maria Sert. This period began her reign and fame as cultural arbiter, which lasted more than thirty years. Writer Paul Morand described her as a "collector of geniuses, all of them in love with her." It was recognized that "you had to be gifted before Misia wanted to know you." It was in her salon, while listening to Erik Satie at the piano playing his iconic composition Trois morceaux en forme de poire, that the assembled guests were informed that World War I had begun.


- " When Toulouse-Lautrec chose to advertise the art and literary magazine La Revue Blanche by using a portrait of Misia Natanson, wife of co-editor Thadée Natanson, it was because the brainy, red-headed beauty was the real mover behind the throne."
http://www.ceruttimiller.com/lautrec%20la%20revue%20blanche.htm


Misia Sert, by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Misia by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1897

Sert portrayed on the cover of La revue blanche, by Toulouse-Lautrec

Misia assise dans une bergère, by Edouard Vuillard

Misia at Her Dressing Table, by Felix Valloton

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