Muse Asylum

Dina Vierny began posing for the sculptor Aristide Maillol as a teenager in order to earn pocket money.

Over time however, a deep friendship developed between the shy, aging artist and the young girl, reinvigorating his career and changing the direction of Vierny's life. In the 1940s, when Vierny was arrested for aiding several artists and intellectuals to flee the Nazis, her old friend Maillol hired a lawyer and sent her to stay with his friend Henri Matisse. She became a muse for Matisse, as well, and he encouraged her to pursue her interest in collecting art. Unlike many such relationships, Vierny was never romantically involved with her mentors, but their affection was profound: Vierny created the Musee Maillol, and at 89 still lives above it, amongst her portraits. [NPR]