La Nit (1909)
The French-Catalan artist Aristides Maillol, born in Banyuls-sur-Mer just over the French border, started his artistic career as a child and at 14 painted his first canvas featuring the beach at Banyuls. It took him a while, but he finally got accepted to a fine arts school in Paris when he was 24, and he spent the rest of his life working as an artist. Over his career, he experimented with a variety of formats including tapestry design, terracotta sculptures and bronze pieces—however, in all the materials he worked, the female figure was a consistent feature in the pieces he produced. Maillol had a strong Catalan identity and spoke Catalan throughout his life: "I consider Catalunya my true homeland," he once said.