Maria Lani was an aspiring film actress and artists" model.
Maria Lani was born in Kolno, Poland and grew up in Częstochowa also in Poland.
In the late 1920s she was portrayed in paintings and sculpture by over fifty artists, including Bonnard, Chagall, Cocteau, Derain, Matisse, Rouault and Suzanne Valadon. She went to Paris in the Spring of 1928 and proclaimed herself to be a silent film star who had worked in Berlin. She befriended Jean Cocteau who enthusiastically endorsed the project and with his encouragement, fifty-nine artists made portraits of her.
A limited edition book about Lani and the portraits was published in 1929 by Éditions des Quatre Chemins, Paris with essays by Cocteau, Mac Ramo, and Waldemar George.
lieutenant included fifty-one plates of reproductions. The film never materialized, but the portraits were exhibited as a group in Europe and the United States, and Lani and Abramowicz kept them in their possession.
In 1941 they moved to New York City where she worked at the Stage Door Canteen, a recreational center for servicemen. They returned to Paris after the war where she died in 1954 and was buried in a pauper"s grave.