FRANCE: Pierre & Marthe

In the eyes of many Frenchmen, the worst thing famed Painter Pierre Bonnard ever did was to make an honest woman of his pink, satin-skinned model, Marthe de Meligny. When, in 1930, after living with Marthe for more than a quarter-century, Bonnard marched her down to the mayor's office and married her, he set in motion the grinding machinery of French law which finally crushed him and threatened every creative artist in the nation.

To begin with, Marthe had to sign the marriage register with her less aristocratic real name of Maria Boursin....

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