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Behind Every Great Man II
It has only been in this century that women have had any degree of influence as artists. However, we tend to forget that (with few exceptions) every artist has been influenced by women, either in what the paint (often nudes), when they paint (to escape their wives), or even how they paint (to sell and support their wives). Not that the wives of artists have it easy (or ever did have it easy for that matter). The personal lives of artists are replete with stories and anecdotes of the suffering, and often humiliation, these women endured for the men they loved.

Hortense, the wife of Paul CÚzanne was originally his mother's maid. She bore him a child and stood by him for 14 years before CÚzanne dared marry her and risk the wrath of his father. When finally he dared present his wife and son to his family, he was chagrined to find they'd known about Hortense and the boy all along.

Lise Trihot was originally a model for the Impressionist artist, Auguste Renoir. On one occasion, while walking two of their children along the river near her home, she came very close to throwing herself into it. During their lifetime together she bore Renoir no less than seven children, five of them boys, all of whom later became artists. Perhaps that explains a lot.

Contributed by Lane, Jim
27 October 1997

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