Misia Sert (* 30. März 1872 in Sankt Petersburg, Russisches Kaiserreich als Marie Sophie Olga Zénaïde Godebska; † 15. Oktober 1950 in Paris) war während der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts die Muse, Freundin und Förderin zahlreicher namhafter Künstler in Paris. [...] Zu ihrem Freundeskreis zählten u. a. die Maler Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Pierre-Auguste Renoir und Pierre Bonnard, später auch Pablo Picasso. Sie machte Bekanntschaft mit den Schriftstellern Émile Zola, Marcel Proust, André Gide und Jean Cocteau, mit dem Sänger Enrico Caruso, mit den Musikern Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel und Igor Strawinski. Es folgten weitere Freundschaften mit Künstlern aus der Welt des Theaters, des Balletts und der Mode, so z. B. mit Coco Chanel. [...] (Misia Sert, dt. Wikipedia)
"On February 24, 1905, Sert became the wife of Alfred Edwards. Sert and her new husband took up an opulent lifestyle in their apartment on Rue de Rivoli, overlooking the Tuileries Palace. Here Sert continued welcoming artists, writers, and musicians in her home. Maurice Ravel dedicated Le Cygne (The Swan) in "Histoires naturelles" and La Valse (The Waltz) to her. Sert accompanied Enrico Caruso on the piano while the opera star entertained the assembled listeners with a repertory of Neapolitan songs. Edwards proved an unfaithful husband, and Sert divorced him in 1909.
In 1920, Sert married her third husband, Spanish painter José-Maria Sert. This period began her reign and fame as cultural arbiter, which lasted more than thirty years. Writer Paul Morand described her as a "collector of geniuses, all of them in love with her." It was recognized that "you had to be gifted before Misia wanted to know you." It was in her salon, while listening to Erik Satie at the piano playing his iconic composition Trois morceaux en forme de poire, that the assembled guests were informed that World War I had begun. [...]
She provided financial assistance to poet Pierre Reverdy when he needed funds to retreat to a Benedictinemonastery in Solesmes. She had a long association with Sergi Diaghilev and was involved in all creative aspects of the Ballets Russes from friendships with its dancers, to input on costume designs, to choreography. Through the years she supplied funds for the often financially distressed ballet company. On the opening night of "Petrushka", she came to the rescue with the 4000 francs needed to prevent repossession of the costumes. When Diaghilev lay dying in Venice she was at his side and, after his death in August 1929, she paid for his funeral, honoring the man who had been such an important influence in the world of ballet." (M. Sert engl. Wikipedia)
"Diaghilev was known as a hard, demanding, even frightening taskmaster. Ninette de Valois, no shrinking violet, said she was too afraid to ever look him in the face. George Balanchine said he carried around a cane during rehearsals, and banged it angrily when he was displeased. Other dancers said he would shoot them down with one look, or a cold comment. "(Sergei Diaghilev, engl. Wikipedia)