Sunday, May 15, 2011

Research: Picasso's Mistresses

So, The three main women in Picasso's life up until 1941 (the setting of the play) are listed in order below. All three of them were left for other women, which was a pattern with Picasso. So, these relationships overlapped. All three were very jealous when they were the ones being cheated on. Go figure.  I condensed the pertinent info below so I can quickly reference these in the future. All three are very important in the play, so I also found significant portraits of them and photos to add to the Wikipedia texts below.

1918: Olga Khokhlova

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pablo Picasso had designed the costumes and set for the ballet. After meeting Picasso, Olga left the group, which toured South America, and stayed in Barcelona with him. He introduced her to his family. At first his mother was alarmed by the idea that her son should marry a foreigner, so he gave her a painting of Olga as a Spanish girl (Olga Khokhlova in Mantilla). 
Olga married Picasso on July 12, 1918.  They were happily married and were often invited to parties and social events. On February 4, 1921, Olga gave birth to a boy named Paulo (Paul). From then on, Olga and Picasso's relationship deteriorated. In 1927, Picasso began an affair with a seventeen-year-old French girl, Marie-Thérèse Walter. In 1935, Olga learned of the affair from a friend, who also informed her that Walter was pregnant. Immediately, Olga took Paulo, moved to the South of France, and filed for divorce. Picasso refused to divide his property evenly with her as required by French law, so Olga stayed legally married to him until her death from cancer in Cannes, France in 1954. (Read more after the jump!)

1927: Marie-Thérèse Walter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

She first met Picasso on 8 January 1927 in front of the Galeries Lafayette in Paris.

In Picasso's paintings, Walter appears as blonde, sunny and bright, as in Le Rêve (1932), in contrast to his darker portrayal of Dora Maar, whom Picasso painted as the tortured "weeping woman".

He and Walter, then seventeen years old, began a relationship which was kept secret from his wife until 1935. From 1927 onwards, Walter lived close to Picasso's family. From 1930, she stayed in a house opposite Picasso's at Rue La Boétie 44. 

In 1935, Marie became pregnant. When Picasso's wife, Olga, was informed by a friend that her husband had a longtime mistress who was expecting a child, she immediately left Picasso with their son Paulo and moved to the South of France. Picasso and Olga never divorced, because Picasso wanted to avoid the even division of property dictated by French law; instead, they lived separately until her death in 1954.

Marie-Thérèse became jealous when Picasso fell in love with Dora Maar, a French artist and model for Picasso, in 1936. Once she and Maar met accidentally in Picasso's studio when he was painting Guernica. Asked about this in later life Picasso remarked that he had been quite happy with the situation and that when they demanded that he choose between them, he told them that they would have to fight it out themselves, at which point the two women began to wrestle. Picasso described it "as one of his choicest memories".[1]

On 20 October 1977, four years after Picasso's death, Marie-Thérèse committed suicide by hanging herself in the garage at Juan-les-Pins, South of France.

1936: Dora Maar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Before meeting Picasso, Maar was already famous as a photographer. She also painted. She met Picasso in January 1936 on the terrace of the Café les Deux Magots in Saint-Germain-des-PrésParis, when she was 29 years old and he 54. The famous poet Paul Éluard, who was with Picasso, had to introduce them. Picasso was attracted by her beauty and self-mutilation (she cut her fingers and the table playing "the knife game"; he got her bloody gloves and exhibited them on a shelf in his apartment). She spoke Spanish fluently, so Picasso was even more fascinated. Their relationship lasted nearly nine years.
Maar became the rival of Picasso's blonde mistress, Marie-Thérèse Walter, who had a newborn daughter with Picasso, named Maya. Picasso often painted beautiful, sad Dora, who suffered because she was sterile, and called her his "private muse." For him she was the "woman in tears" in many aspects. During their love affair, she suffered from his moods, and hated that in 1943 he had found a new lover, Françoise Gilot. Picasso and Paul Éluard sent Dora to their friend, the psychiatrist Jacques Lacan, who treated her with psychoanalysis.

After her long relationship with Picasso ended, Maar struggled to regain her emotional footing, she was in such a mental state that she cried so much that she needed crying tablets. This was complicated by the sudden death of her best friend, 
Nusch Eluard, wife of the poet Paul, in 1946. Likewise, her mother had also died unexpectedly in 1941, leaving Maar without family or long-time close friends.

Maar kept his paintings for herself until her death in 1997. They were souvenirs of her extraordinary love affair, which made her famous forever. In Paris, still occupied by the Germans, Picasso left to her a drawing from 1915 as a goodbye gift in April 1944; it represents Max Jacob, his close friend who had just died in the transit camp of Drancy after his arrest by the Nazis.

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