Maillol studied at the art school in Paris and met French artists such as Bonnard and Denis, with whom he formed the Nabis. While starting out as a painter, he later headed towards tapestries. The detailed work required in tapestry design damaged his eyes and he turned to sculpture. He was a leading modern French sculptor, who combined classical expressions with modern sensibility by means of clear-cut composition and modeling.
_le-de-France is the name of the region with Paris at its center. This female statue was made when Maillol was 64 years old. He had already been elaborating the plan from around 1910 and a prototype of the torso was produced in 1921. To begin with, Maillol imagined “a girl walking in the water” and dreamed of a petite, light girl who could be carried across the river. He actually came across a model like that and completed this work. The painter Maurice Denis, who was a fellow member of the Nabis, commented on Maillol’s sculpture as follows. “The pristine sensuality, simplicity, and unpretentious nobleness actually demonstrate a classical taste and persistently possess the clear flavor of fresh water.”