On October 25, 1881, in Malaga (Spain) was born one of the most avant-garde painters in the history of the arts. Pablo Picasso began his career as a painter at 10 years age. Eight years later he made his first solo exhibition. He always was innovative and revolutionary. And although the social and personal influence on his career was important, women were the ones that left their strong mark on his work.
Like any other artist, Picasso had muses, that inspired the work of this Sapnish painter and sculptor. Women in his life influenced largely along the different stages of life. They were the main source of inspiration and subject of many of his works. They loved him, cherished him, gave him children, but also hated him. In his paintings it could be seen clearly that when the relationship was getting worse the image of the lover is disfigured, was no longer worthy of being regarded in awe to be viewed with amazement and even disgust.
And in this post I am going to write something about all the women (or at least, the most important) who shared the life of Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Cipriano of the Holy Trinity Ruiz Picasso, as his birth certificate says (I will try not to be as long with the post as his name!).
Ferdinand Olivier. It was the first formal partner of the painter. Upon leaving that relationship, Fernandina model began to be a painter in Montmartre, France. In 1904, Pablo Picasso was in France, where he met the woman he fell in love. The following year, Picasso and Fernandina began living together, though jealousy between the two caused the painter to model prohibit someone else. The love between the two and Picasso was reflected in his works of "pink stage." However, the relationship ended in 1912 when the painter fell in love with another woman.
Eva Gouel. It was the painter's muse during his cubist collage. Some historians say it was the great love of Picasso. Eva died in 1915, a victim of tuberculosis, four years after starting a relationship with the painter. He made to her various works and even called her "Ma Jollie," a name that appears in many of his paintings. Eva's death caused great pain to Picasso, what prompted him not to make any commercial work for a year.
Olga Kokhlova. Picasso was interested in other arts such as music and dance. In 1917 the artist was designing the set for the musical "Parade" in Rome, when he met the Russian dancer. Olga, who belonged to the aristocratic class, was the first wife of the painter. In 1918 they married in a Russian Orthodox church in Paris. On February 4, 1921, Olga gave birth to the first son of the painter, called Paulo. During this period, Picasso left Cubism and began to work in numerous works with the topic of motherhood.
In 1924 Picasso and Olga began having marital problems, which were reflected in the work of Picasso. Three years later the painter began an affair with a woman 29 years younger. Pablo Picasso and Olga Kokhlova finally separated in 1929 but never divorced, and even the dancer always went on to say "I'm Olga Kokhlova, the genius lovingly endured for more than 12 years. I was legally his first wife and as almost all, he left me. I gave birth to her first child, Paul ".
Marie Therese Walter. The woman who dazzled the painter in 1927 when he was walking one day near the subway exit at the Galeries Lafayette. Picasso and Marie Therese lived a romance while the painter was married to Olga, and bought an apartment for her near the house where he lived with his wife. In 1935, first Picasso’s daughter was born, named Maya. However, the painter, who was not accustomed to married life style, disappeared and decided to send his wife and daughter to her mother's side and back to bohemian Paris.
Dora Maar. The friend of Pablo Picasso, Paul Eluard, introduced him to a beautiful girl with black hair and green eyes of the painter. Dora Maar, who enjoyed fame in the world of photography and held an eight-year relationship with Picasso, while he was painting the famous painting Guernica.
From 1936 to 1944 the relationship between them was intense. She was happy with him, but when the artist began to walk away, she showed a strange and paranoid behavior. Dora was treated by a psychiatrist and years later she said: "After Picasso, only God".
Francoise Gillot. Picasso abandoned Dora Maar after meeting this young artist of 23 years. The painter was then 62 years. Between 1943 and 1952 they lived together and they had two sons, Claude and Paloma. In the early 50's, the relationship began turning in disgust and in 1953 she decided to leave the artist.
Genevieve Laporte. It was the clandestine love of Picasso. At 16 years, Genevieve requested an interview with the artist for a student newspaper. The artist asked the girl to visit him every week and thus began the secret meetings. Next to the teenager, Picasso created paintings of great sensuality. The relationship ended after she left him and Picasso told his son Paulo: "Women whom I love, go away and women whom I don’t love, stick to me”.
Jacqueline Roque. Picasso had met her 20 years before seeing her again in a cafe near the Costa Azul. Jacqueline was 30 years and had a daughter and soon she became the secretary, messenger, nurse, slave and prison guard of the painter.In March 1961 she became the painter's second wife after the death of Olga and she lived next to Pablo Picasso until the day of his death on April 8, 1973. Picasso was 91 years old.
In October 1985, Jacqueline took her life in the house he had shared with the genius on the Costa Azul. And Marie Therese Walter took her life too four years later than Picasso died, Picasso’s phantom prevented her from having a life of her own. And Olga and Dora suffered mental disorders until the end of their lifes.
Picasso had a complex and conflicted personality, between cruelty and tenderness, who was quite romantic when he was starting a new relationhip but when he was tired of it he dind’t hesitate to look for new lovers. Even some people say about him that the more he was in love with a woman, the more he looked for the arms of new lovers.
One of his favourite sentences was: “Men don’t stop falling in love when they get older, but on the contrary, they get older when they don’t fall in love any more”. And another sentence he used to say was: “For me, there are two kind of women: goddesses and doormats”.
Once again, we can see that being a genius in some field has nothing to do with being a genius in personal life.