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Portrait of artist Leo Maillet

Leo Maillet, (Leopold Mayer by his birth name), a friend of Jeanne Mandello’s, was born in 1902 in Frankfurt into a Jewish family. He studied Fine Art in Frankfurt, and in 1930 became a master-class student of Max Beckmann. In 1931, he won the city of Frankfurt’s Goethe art prize but in 1933, when the Nazis came to power, his paintings were destroyed or stolen from Max Beckmann’s atelier. In 1935 he emigrated to Paris and in 1942 very narrowly escaped deportation to Auschwitz. He managed to flee to Switzerland where he remained until his death in 1990. He lost nearly all his early paintings and etchings. Like so many others of his generation, Leo Maillet is a yet-to-be-rediscovered artist, whose promising career and professional recognition has been blighted by the National socialists’ persecution and plunder.