Dina Vierny (1919–2009) was the muse of the great French sculptor Aristide Maillol, a gallery owner, and a collector. Born in Chisinau, she emigrated to France in 1926, where she mingled with the Paris-based Russian intelligentsia. During World War II, Vierny was part of the Resistance, helping refugees to cross from France to Spain. She was arrested twice and spent six months in prison, being released only thanks to Maillol’s efforts.
Following the sculptor’s death, Vierny became the guardian of his works, and in 1947 she opened a gallery in Paris. In 1959, she visited the Soviet Union for the first time, where she met nonconformist artists such as Ilya Kabakov, Erik Bulatov, and Vladimir Yankilevsky, whose work she would later exhibit in Paris.