Bejeweled Trees: The Creations of Misia Sert

Misia Sert (1872-1950) is usually remembered as a patron of Parisian artists, writers and musicians. Born Maria Zofia Olga Zenajda Godebska she was the daughter of Polish sculptor, Cyprian Godebski and granddaughter of Belgium cellist Adrien François Servais. Sert went on to be an accomplished pianist and posed for many of the artists who attended her Salons. She was the model for Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's poster of La Revue blanche which shows her on skates. La revue was an arts magazine that was co-published by Sert's first husband Thadée Natanson. It was her third husband Jose-Maria Sert y Badia, the Spanish muralist whose infidelities drove her to create miniature bejeweled trees. The artist and the muse had a long fascination with rock crystal. In the 1920's, Sert when left by her husband began designing small forests of rock crystal, glass beads, silver foil and semi precious gems. Details of one pair comprised of rock crystal, glass beads and coral bits were photographed by Lisa Erickson.