The extraordinary Misia Sert, Celebrated Parisian Socialite 1872 – 1950
Born into a Polish family, Misia was a virtuoso pianist taught by Gabriel Fauré, before marrying Thadee Natanson owner of the magazine ‘La Revue Blanche’. She was painted many times by Toulouse-Lautrec, Pierre Bonnard, Eduard Vuillard (who was deeply in love with her), and Renoir who wanted to paint her nude. She knew Debussy and Ravel who dedicated several pieces to her.
She later remarried a wealthy businessman and was able to finance Diaghilev’s extraordinary Russian Ballets becoming an integral part of the circle around Picasso, Stravinsky, Cocteau and Nijinsky. Her final marriage was to the Spanish muralist José Sert with whom she travelled extensively, becoming Coco Chanel’s closet friend and confidante. Misia was at the very heart of modern art and music in Paris. Misia Sert was the subject of a major exhibition in the Musée d’Orsay in 2012.
About the Lecturer
Julian Halsby studied History of Art at Cambridge. Formerly Senior Lecturer and Head of Department at Croydon College of Art. Publications include Venice – the Artist’s Vision (1990, 1995), Dictionary of Scottish Painters (1990, 1998, 2001, 4th edition 2010), Scottish Watercolours 1740-1940 (1986, 1991), A Private View – David Wolfers and the New Grafton Gallery (2002). Interviews artists for the Artist Magazine and is a member of the International Association of Art Critics and The Critics Circle. A practising artist, he was elected to the Royal Society of British Artists in 1994 and appointed Keeper in 2010.