Aristide Maillol was a French sculptor, painter, and tapestry designer. Best known for his sculptures of monumental female nudes, Maillol forged a unique style that closely resembled Classical Grecian statues. He abstracted forms using strong lines, and often set his public statues aside from their architectural context. Born on December 8, 1861 in Banyuls-sur-Mer, France, he went on to study at the École des Beaux-Arts after applying several times without success, finally enrolling in 1881. He was influenced by his contemporary Paul Gauguin, as well as artists of the Nabis movement.The artist created many important commissioned pieces, including a monument to the famed Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne. He died on September 27, 1944 in Roussillon, France. Today, three of his sculptures reside along the grand staircase of the New York Metropolitan Opera House.