Marie Ivanovna VASSILIEFF 1884 — 1957
Марія ВАСІЛ`ЄВА • Мария ВАСИЛЬЕВА
Marie Vassilieff was born in 1884 in Smolensk, Russia into a wealthy family. Began studying art in 1903 at the Academy of Fine Arts in St.Petersburg. On her arrival in Paris in 1905 she enrolled at Matisse’s Academy and attending classes at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1909 she founded her own Académie Vassilieff. In 1912 she opened her own atelier in Montparnasse that became the haunt for those at the cutting-edge of art at the time when Satie, Matisse, Nina Hamnett, Modigliani, Ossip Zadkine, Juan Gris and Chaim Soutine started dropping by in the evenings for conversation and occasionally to draw. Leger gave there a series of lectures on Modern art in 1913. During the years of the Worl War I Vassilieff used her Académie as a base for a canteen, which she set up for all the academics and painters in Paris who found themselves in financial difficulties. She traveled extensively to Spain, Romania, Poland, Scandinavia were she got inspiration for many of her work. In the late 1920’s she held one-man show in London, Italy and the Midi, where she then lived. In Paris she showed her work frequently at the Salon des Indépendants, Salon d’Automne. From 1924 until 1937 she designed decor settings and costumes for many theatre plays, notably for the «Swedish Ballets» of Rolf de Maré. In 1925, she again exhibited her paintings in London and her furniture pieces at the historic Decorative Arts show. After several exhibitions in London (1928 and 1930) and in Italy (1929), she settled in Southern France and only returned to Paris after the Second World War. In 1979 her work was included in a Paris Moscow exhibition held at the Centre George Pompidou, Paris. Her artwork was primarily in the Cubist style, her most interesting paintings were those of portraits of dancers as well as those of her friends Jean Cocteau, Picasso and Matisse. She is also known for her decorative furniture pieces and her doll-portraits. She died in 1957.