closer than those who have living children

…could these women have imagined that their faces would shine forth from works that are a key to some of the most extraordinary moments in the history of art, and that paintings and sculptures for which their presences were central would be sold for fabulous sums of money in a century not yet born? Could they possibly have imagined that the work they did would be so celebrated and that it would live forever?

– Ruth Butler, from her book HIDDEN IN THE SHADOW OF THE MASTER: THE MODEL-WIVES OF CEZANNE, MONET, AND RODIN, profiled yesterday in the NYT. There’s a downloadable first chapter too.

The statues of me made by mon Maitre are our children, mine as much as his. And we are married through a love much closer than those who have living children, because our children and more beautiful and thus immortal.

– British painter & model (to Rodin) Gwen John, quoted by Butler