Artist biographies

Marie Laurencin

Marie Laurencin (1883-1956) went to Sèvres at the age of eighteen to receive instruction in porcelain painting. She subsequently continued her studies at the Académie Humbert in Paris, where she met Braque and, through him, Picasso and the poet Guillaume Apollinaire. Laurencin was the lover of Apollinaire, and was considered the muse of the Cubists. Thanks to her contacts with the circle of Picasso and Apollinaire, and her participation in discussions about art and art theory, she experienced the development of Cubism at firsthand. Although Laurencin considerably simplified and abstracted the forms in her paintings, like the Cubists, she chose to employ a completely different style and mainly painted elegant young women with rounded forms and muted shadows. Her work was exhibited at the 1907 Salon des Indépendants and, in subsequent years, at leading Paris galleries. From the 1920s her paintings met with increasing interest and success. Laurencin received a number of commissions for portraits of Parisian society ladies, such as Helena Rubinstein and Coco Chanel. She also wrote poems, designed sets and costumes for the theatre and ballet, and illustrated books.

Marie Laurencin, Réunion des Musées Nationaux

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