EDITORS: DEBBIE WELLS AND JACQUELINE COVEY

In Memory of Françoise Gilot


BY DEBBIE WELLS

Above: Photograph of Françoise Gilot and Pablo Picasso; Françoise Gilot, Self-Portrait (Figure in the Wind), 1944, PD



Françoise Gilot, who died last week at age 101, was famous as mistress and muse to to the infamous Pablo Picasso. Gilot, an emerging artist was only 21 years old when she met married and much older (by 40 years!) Picasso in a Parisian restaurant.


They were together for 10 years and never married, but had two children, Claude and Paloma. Gilot is best known for being the only woman who ever left Picasso, which the great Spanish artist did not take well. By 1970, she was married to another prominent man, Jonas Salk, who developed the first vaccine for polio.

Being romantically involved with Picasso was a complicated affair. She summed up her tumultuous relationship in her 1964 memoir with journalist Carlton Lake, Life with Picasso. This scathing account enraged Picasso and his supporters, but also made her a heroine for speaking her truth.


Despite this setback, she was determined to keep creating art and eventually earned her rightful place in the modern art world. In addition to the art she made, Picasso's paintings of her as lover, model and mother are still recognized as some of his best works.


Life with Picasso is one of many non-fiction and autobiographical books on our Ultimate Art-Lovers Book List webinar. See below for more information about this upcoming webinar...

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