The English-language public can read about Marie Bashkirtseff, the Russian artist, sculptor and diarist, here:
"Marie & the Duke of H" by Doris Langley Moore, a well-known Byron scholar, wrote a book on Marie Bashkirtseff in 1966. It is still available at Amazon - used :)
The title of this last book, focused on Bashkirtseff's childhood infatuation with William Douglas-Hamilton, 12th Duke of Hamilton.
As far as I know, Marie Bashkirtseff did write for magazines, but she is mostly known for her diary.
Or maybe I should say WAS known. Written in French, as the trend was, and published by her mother after Marie died, Bashkirtseff’s diary was widely cited both in Europe and in Russia by serious writers and philosophers. But I haven’t met anyone who had at least heard her name in this country these days.
The Bashkirtseffs lived in 55 Promenade des Anglais. The villa did not survive, but I have seen a lovely fountain nearby with Marie’s name on it.
The diary, English translation 1912
There are several biographies in French, you will find them if you go to the Marie Homage site.
We in Russia happen to have a writer genuinely interested in the subject. Alexander Alexandrov spent a few years in research, his ‘The life of Marie Bashkirtseff’ was printed in 2003, you can read it here – if you read Russian, of course.
Marie’s diary was published in Russian in 2003, too.
Note, if you search Russian-language sites, she will be Maria Bashkirtseva.
P.S. I have just learned that Alexander Alexandrov died at 62 on February 09, 2009. He was a good writer.
Les Niçois consider her their ‘resident artist’, Ukrainians claim her as she was born there, and we in Russia know for certain she was a Russian girl.
By the time she died at 26 she had over 150 paintings and drawings to her name. Most of them were in the Kharkov museum in the Ukraine, for all I know, but did not survive the Second World War.
There must be two or three of her canvasses in Saint-Petersburg, and another two either in Louvre or in Quai d’Orsay in Paris.
Luckily, her mother had given Marie’s self-portrait to the Nice Museum of Fine Arts. Not that it’s a very impressive institution, in fact, their site never works. But the sheer size of it makes our Marie look outstanding, she has a whole room to herself on the first floor; in a more prominent collection where Rembrandt fights with Rubens for exhibition space she would have been invariably lost.
P.S. Just found a link - where do you think? In Argentina! - that will give you a better idea of Marie and her life
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