Picasso the Brilliant Misogynist
I didn’t purposely become a Picasso fan. In fact I know very little about the man and his work. Whenever I am at an art gallery or out and about and I see a Picasso, I do not know who painted it. The interesting thing is I always walk straight toward it, lured by its uniqueness and say to my friend “that is awesome.” I get up close enough to see who the artist is and lo and behold, it’s de man! Obviously there are some paintings I know belong to Picasso: his cubism is unmistakable. The history of Picasso and cubism however, is not as well-known.
Picasso gets all the credit for cutting up people and objects like a jigsaw puzzle then putting the pieces back in all the wrong order. However he alone did not create this genre. George Braque is overlooked for this one. Poor old Braque never gets his due. To be fair to Picasso, cubism revolutionized European painting and sculpture, It inspired related movements in music, literature and architecture. Cubism has been considered the most influential art movement of the 20th century. Who wouldn’t want to be solely credited for that type of influence? watch picasso & braque: inventing cubism
I mention cubism and Picasso for a reason: his cubism and portrayals of women go hand in hand. Picasso didn’t love women: he used and abused them, even though women were frequent subjects in his work. Before he was married to his first wife, Picasso met Fernande Oliviere. Although Fernande was married, she stayed with Picasso for 7 years. Fernande modeled for other artists then moved in with Picasso, who prevented her from modeling for others. Fernande left Picasso in 1912, months after Picasso took an interest in Marcelle Humbert, known as Eva Gouel. At age 70, Picasso paid the bedridden Fernande a small pension. Picasso was devastated by Gouel’s early death due to tuberculosis or cancer. Still, during Eva’s sickness Picasso managed a relationship with Gaby Lespinasse. watch pablo picasso burning sensations
When he was married to his first wife he boldly installed his 17-year-old mistress in an apartment across the street and moved in with her. His wife was Olga Khokhlova, a ballerina with the Sergei Diaghilev troupe. In 1927 Picasso met the teenaged Marie-Thérèse Walter and began a secret affair with her. Picasso’s relation with Marie was kept from Olga until Olga was told of Marie’s pregnancy. Picasso’s marriage to Khokhlova soon ended. Picasso fathered a daughter with Walter. Marie understandably became jealous when Picasso started to fall in love with Dora Maar in 1936. Marie-Thérèse lived in the vain hope that Picasso would one day marry her, and hanged herself four years after Picasso’s death. watch picasso’s women through 7 paintings
In 1943 Picasso (age 62) then kept company with young art student Françoise Gilot (born in 1921). Gilot, frustrated with Picasso’s relationships with other woman and his abusive nature left him in 1953. Dejected and alone, in 1953 Picasso met Jacqueline Roque and she became his second wife. Jacqueline died from shooting herself in 1986. watch surviving picasso
Two wives. Several mistresses. Two women who committed suicide after loving Picasso. Infidelity and betrayal. A selfish disregard for his many women’s’ dignity and feelings. Picasso was not a lover. Picasso was a misogynist. Small wonder that he painted pictures of his women, scattered their image and reassembled them into a cubist work of art, just as he scattered their lives into turmoil, rearranged their lives and dignity, leading them to a traumatic end. watch picasso paints a woman
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