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Mariya Bashkirtseva (Marie Bashkirtseff)

Born: Gavrontsi, Ukraine, 24 November 1858
Died: Paris, 31 October 1884
Nationality: Ukrainian
Background: 

wealthy family

Studies: 

with Tony Robert-Fleury and Jules Bastien-Lepage at Académie Julian (Paris)

Career: 

1877 – settles in France

1880 – exhibits at the Paris Salon under the pseudonyms Marie Constantin Russ and Andrei; publishes article on women’s rights in La Citoyenne (20 February 1880) under the pseudonym Orell

1884 – exhibits The Meeting at Paris Salon; it is purchased by the French government

1887 – posthumous publication of Bashkirtseva’s diary, Le Journal de Marie Bashkirtseff

Travels

Egypt (1856); New York (1871)

Important Artworks: 

Sorrow of Nausicaa, 1882 (sculpture, Musée d’Orsay, Paris)

Spring or April, 1884 (Russian Museum, St Petersburg)

 

Bashkirtseva’s friend Mathilde Blind described the artist’s arrival at the Académie Julian in the Passage des Panoramas in October 1877:

“At first, her master [Rodolphe Julian] took this wish to paint for the caprice of a spoilt child; which would soon pass when confronted by the difficulties of execution. Before long, however, he recognized his mistake; he telt that she was a power; that there was something which lifted her out of the ranks and placed her apart among her fellow pupils. Something which gave to her first efforts, however crude and tentative, a vigor and spontaneity which were truly astonishing. And he discovered, too,  that so far from playing at art she was in deadly earnest. Instead of being less regular in her attendance than the other art students, she flung herself into her work with the passionate zeal of an enthusiast. Morning, noon, and night found her either at her easel, or else taking private lessons in anatomy and modeling, or haunting sales and picture galleries – always on the alert to improve herself. Indeed, Julian found her a little monster of energy, of talent, of ambition, of concentrated will. Whatever she took into her head to do, she did and accomplished the seemingly impossible." 

Mathilde Blind, “A Study of Marie Bashkirtseff,” in André Theuriet, Jules Bastien-Lepage and His Art. A Memoir (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1892), p. 157.