The Musée d'Orsay Presents the Queen of Paris
Although Misia Godebska first became known for her talents as a pianist, her reputation truly grew when she became a 'woman about town' in early 20th-century Paris. It was her marriage in 1893 that allowed her to enter many prestigious crowds, normally closed off to most. Her personality and artistic taste then helped her to charm these crowds and make friends in high places. She befriended Coco Chanel, Jean Cocteau and Igor Stravinsky — just to name a few — and she represented the ideals of artistic life at the time. As a fixture of all the Parisian artistic circles, she was one of the most popular female portrait subjects of the time. She posed for Bonnard, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Vallotton and Vuillard. However, she was also a victim of substance abuse, and the tragic parts of her life also inspired works of art and literature.
The Musée d'Orsay has just debuted an exhibition revolving around this multi-faceted figure — called Misia, Queen of Paris — and guests staying at the Hotel Regencia will be able to have a look until September 9, 2012. These visitors will be able to see various artists' rendering of this mysterious figure for themselves.
By comparing portraits of the same person, visitors can understand important differences in the styles of the painters. The exhibition is a multimedia event, bringing together not only portraits but also documents and testimonies of artists who were active during Misia's time. These real-life testimonies help to ground the exhibit in reality and show visitors that Misia had a great influence on artistic life at the time. They will experience how she earned her nickname, 'The Queen of Paris.'