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Picasso and His Lovers

Picasso and His Loves

By Ryu Seo-Hyun
The Post Reporter
ryu0121@dongguk.edu

  Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) was the most dominant figure in the 20th-century art history.  He created around 50,000 works of art in his life of over 80 years and influenced people around the world.
  One time he said, "As writers express their lives through characters in their works, I write my life story on my own paintings."
  Like an autobiography, Picasso's paintings reflect on his life and own interests, even a chronicle of his love.  Picasso shared passion with his loves, which in turn influenced his works of art greatly.  One can meet Picasso's works and his loves through "The Great Century - Picasso," an exhibition held at Seoul Museum of Art from May 20 to Sept. 3.

Picasso's First Love - Fernande Olivier
  After the death of his old friend Carlos, Picasso began creating dark paintings called his "Blue Period."  But his love for Fernande Olivier changed his style of art.  Olivier, a married woman, was Picasso's model in France.  Picasso fell deeply in love with her.  He then mainly painted peach-colored clowns and acrobats and developed his showy cubism style.  His best work during this period is "Girls of Avignon," which opened up the cubism era.  This was his "Rose Period."

Elegant and Aristocratic Dancer - Olga Koklova
  Olga Koklova, Picasso's third love was an elegant and aristocratic Russian dancer.  In 1917, Picasso undertook the stage decoration of the Russia Ballet Company, and he was attracted to Olga, a member of the company.  At this point Picasso's painting style turned to realism, then popular among the upper class.  They got married and had a son, Paulo.  But they were divorced after four years of marriage.

Tender and Dreamy Girl - Marie-Therese Walter
  One day Picasso happened to see a pretty 17-year-old girl in a department store in Paris.  Being attracted to her at first sight, he asked her to be his model right away.  She accepted the proposal and became Picasso's love for the next 10 years.  Picasso depicted her in such works as 'Sleeping Woman' and 'Dreaming Woman.'  Picasso was influenced by surrealism, and his paintings during this period have a tendency to be tender and dreamy.

Partner in the Gloomy Days - Dora Maar
  In 1936, Picasso met an intelligent photographer named Dora Maar, who the poet Paul Eluard introduced to him.  Being with him during the painting of his "Guernica" masterpiece, she took many photographs.  It was the World War II when he took up his brush against Fascism.  Some experts see her as the crying woman in his works because of gloomy circumstances of the war years.  But Maar denied such views.
  "Those are just Picasso's own figures. They are not Dora Maar," she said.

Last and Sincere Supporter - Jacqueline Roque
  Jacqueline Roque was Picasso's last love.  Picasso met her when he was 70.  She helped him to focus only on painting.  Thanks to her, Picasso was able to concentrate on reinterpreting his former classicism, and it became his new painting style.  He started doing some of the paintings of his own life.

  These loves, who shared Picasso' joys and sorrows, might be projected on his paintings as actresses.  Picasso said : "I paint what I'm thinking about, not what I'm seeing."
  Actually, his loves were his thoughts.  Although they didn't draw his works with their hands, they did draw Picasso's thoughts.  Indeed, one can understand Picasso through the women that he loved.

Ryu Seo-hyun reporter  ryu0121@dongguk.edu

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