Picasso's life story offers nearly as much adventure, excitement, and intrigue as the tales surrounding his works of art.
Comparatively, Pablo Picasso's social antics of the 1910s through the 1970s would make the likes of Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, and Lindsay Lohan seem angelic. Picasso's various relationships contributed not only to his star status in the art world but also to his use of personal subjects in his long artistic career.
Born in Malaga, Spain in 1881, Pablo Picasso moved to Paris to study art. In 1904, after establishing a career as an artist there, Picasso began a long term relationship with Fernande Olivier. Olivier became a model for his Rose period paintings completed between 1904 and 1906.
This relationship ended when Picasso left Olivier for Marcelle Humbert, with whom he experienced a short romance.
In 1918, Picasso married the professional ballerina named Olga Khokhlova. While the couple had a son named Paulo, the couple did not stay together. Ironically, the two parted but Picasso never divorced Khokhlova. Despite his affairs with many other women, Picasso remained married to Khokhlova until her death in the mid-1950s.
In 1927, while still married to Khokhlova, Picasso met a 17-year-old woman named Marie-Therese Walter with whom he began a long lasting affair. They remained together from the late 1920s until 1944. A portrait of Marie Therese Walter within a composition that Picasso called Le Reve is owned and was damaged by accident by its owner, Steve Wynn, the Las Vegas hotel mogul and multi-millionaire.
Picasso and Walter had a daughter together named Maya. It was one version of the portrait of this child that was stolen from Picasso's granddaughter's Paris home. The painting entitled Maya and the Doll from 1938 is on display in the Picasso Museum in Paris.
During his affair with Marie Therese Walter, Picasso also made fellow artist, Dora Maar his constant companion. Maar, like Picasso's other women, was depicted in his paintings and prints. A few years ago, the portrait of Picasso mistress, Dora Maar dated 1932 sold for $95,216,000.
Picasso was famous for many of his contributions to art history but one of the most interesting facets of his long career is the fact that during World War II and the Nazi occupation of Paris, Picasso famously remained in the city. The Nazis took over his studio in 1943 yet Picasso did not leave Europe as other artists did, at the time.
After the liberation of Paris in 1944, Picasso took residence with a young art student named Françoise Gilot.
The couple had two children as well as a very tumultuous relationship. Those children were Paloma (who grew up to be the famous designer) and her brother, Claude. Unlike other women associated with Picasso, Gilot left Picasso in 1953 claiming abusive treatment.
After a short affair with Geneviève Laporte which took place in the late 1950s, Picasso settled down and married for the second time. He wed Jacqueline Roque in 1961, years after the death of his Picasso’s first wife, Olga Khokhlova.
Jacqueline Roque worked at the Madoura Pottery firm where Picasso made his famous late career, graphically decorated, and brightly glazed ceramics. Picasso and Roque remained together until 1973, the year Picasso died.
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