Books: Angel of the Arts

MISIA: THE LIFE OF MISIA SERT

by Arthur Gold and Robert Fizdale; Knopf; 337 pages; $16.95

What a life Misia Sert lived! Fauré gave her piano lessons. Ravel dedicated La Valse to her. Stravinsky presented her with the score of Le Sucre du Printemps. Diaghilev made her his ally; she was the only woman with whom he could feel intimate. Toulouse-Lautrec, Bonnard, Vuillard, Renoir, Vallotton painted her, sometimes obsessively. Cocteau modeled the heroine of his novel Thomas l'lmposteur on her. In the masterly hands of Proust she became two people, Princess Yourbeletieff, the young...

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