01 work, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, Antoine Malliarakis Mayo’s Femme et masque, with Footnotes. #115


Oil on canvas
18 1/8 x 14 7/8 in. (46 x 38cm.)
Private collection

Antoine Malliarakis Mayo, was born in 1905 in Egypt, the son of a Greek engineer and a French mother. Although he kept a Greek passport throughout his life, he was culturally French and lived in France for half of his life after leaving Egypt. He came to France to study architecture but started frequenting artistic circles in the Paris of the roaring twenties and decided to become a painter instead. He made a living decorating cabarets and, later, designing costumes for stage productions, while continuing to paint. In 1944 his friend, writer Jacques Prévert, recommended him as costume designer for the classical period piece “Les Enfants du Paradis”. The film was a hit and allowed Mayo to lead a 20-year career in French cinema, designing the costumes (and sometimes the scenery) of several classics. In the meantime, he also worked as art director on many commercials. With the early 60s, and the coming of the “Nouvelle Vague”, period pieces became less frequent, and Mayo had less work offers. He ultimately decided to leave movies to concentrate on his paintings. Having moved to Rome, Italy, in the mid-sixties, he finally managed to make a good living with his paintings alone. Unfortunately, in the early eighties, Mayo gradually lost his eyesight. In 1984 he moved back to France and died in 1990, aged 85. More on Antoine Malliarakis Mayo

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