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Maurice Sachs and some recent life drawings

March 17, 2009

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Violette Leduc, a French writer from the post war period who was close to Simone de Beauvoir.  I became obsessed with her while reading La Bâtarde, and felt the need to draw her to get her off my mind.  This led me to read Le Sabbat by Maurice Sachs, a charming but completely disreputable friend of hers.  Violette was actually in love with Maurice, but he wasn’t attracted to women in general, and especially not to her.  He did encourage her to write, though, and got her started in the black market during the war.  He then went off to do even less respectable things, like inflitrating the Résistance for the Gestapo. He died near the end of the war – some say under mysterious circumstances, but really he was just one of the unlucky prisoners who were marched from one concentration camp to another (the Gestapo finally got tired of him too) and died of exhaustion. So why on earth would anyone want to read a book by such an awful person? Well, he was a big part of the French literary and artistic scene between the wars, and a he tells all.  He was a lover of Jean Cocteau, good friends with an ex-lover of Proust, knew André Gide, Picasso and Soutine, and he was an absolutely shameless gossip.  For someone like me, whose MA is in French lit, this stuff is irresistible. I am not particularly proud of that, but there it is.

So I drew him as well.  It’s hard to find photos of Maurice – There’s an extremely famous portrait by Raoul Dufy, which you’ve certainly seen before, and which is one of the better portraits of anyone that I’ve ever seen.


Mine, on the other hand,  are stiff and obviously from photos – one when he was very young, and another that must have been during the wartime years (in the full photo he’s holding what looks to be a wad of bank notes)

As an antidote to the stiffness of those two drawings – some recent life drawings.  My favorites tend to be the shorter poses, although I really hate them while I’m doing them – I guess its frustration at what I’d like to do, but don’t have time for.  these are 2 minute poses :

longer poses 5-7  minutes :

10 Comments leave one →
  1. March 17, 2009 8:59 pm

    I’m fascinated with your recent readings – and do love your figure drawings, especially the very graceful line you achieved in the figure on the pink page.

  2. paintingsprintsandstuff permalink
    March 17, 2009 11:34 pm

    those 2 minute poses are really beautifully done

  3. March 18, 2009 3:07 am

    I really do enjoy your portraits, and the stories behind them.

  4. annie permalink
    March 18, 2009 5:20 pm

    Biography and autobiography are my favorite reading, Casey, and what fun to see your portraits and to hear
    about this guy– even though, he is, I agree, a sort of an awful old dog. A major in French Literature–what a joy that must give you.

  5. March 18, 2009 7:29 pm

    I love your figure drawings!

  6. March 19, 2009 1:16 am

    These are exquisite, Casey! Really wonderful. These figure drawings are so loose and what gorgeous colors.

  7. March 19, 2009 10:08 am

    Brava, brava for your figure drawings, Casey. It’s hard to pick a favourite but I do love the one on the pink ground with those white highlights. Wonderful!

    And I’m thoroughly enjoying your thoughts on French Literature, and the portraits. I don’t find these stiff at all – great mood and emerging character. So who’s next, I’m loving the education.

  8. March 19, 2009 12:18 pm

    Thanks for the greetings, Casey … looks lime you’ve been busy! Loving the life studies with the coloured backgrounds 🙂

  9. March 23, 2009 9:52 am

    Lovely quick sketches that really capture the moment..and the pose. I like the way you are not afraaid to use the charcoal and get quite dark tones…great stuff.

  10. August 26, 2013 3:19 pm

    For somebody that was during the past over weight, I
    have to say that I wish I had easy access to the info on this site in the past because it would’ve made a huge influence on my daily life. Keep posting more content.

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