PARIS.- Muse who inspired French sculptor Aristide Maillol and who modeled for Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard died died on Jan. 20 in Paris at age 89.
Dina Vierny was born into a Jewish family Aibinder in Kishinev, Bessarabia (now Chisinau, Moldova). At fifteen years of age, she became a model and muse to the 73-year-old sculptor Aristide Maillol. He claimed that she looked like one of his works "come alive", and that it was her body that he had been sculpting all along. She was Maillol's source of inspiration for the last ten years of his life. Both Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard, artists to whom Maillol sent Vierny, attribute to the model a renewed inspiration for painting and sculpture.
Vierny began as an artists' model in her mid-teens and evolved from being a simple muse to taking a serious interest in the business of curating the art of those for whom she worked. She regarded Maillol as her finest benefactor and mentor. He in turn produced so many works based on her inspiration that some of the maquettes remained un-cast until well after the artist's death. One such example is entitled Nymph, a life-sized figure study modeled when she was seventeen but not cast until 1953, and is permanently on display at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.
After Maillols death, in a car crash, Vierny collected the work of Maillol and dozens of his contemporaries, including Matisse and Bonnard, Marcel Duchamp, Wassily Kandinsky, Ilya Kabakov and Vladimir Yankilevsky. These works are now displayed at the Musée Maillol in Paris.