Continuing the series of the inhabitants of our museum we are going to talk about one of the leading characters from the life and work of Picasso,of the muse of the muses, who he loved in his maturity and with whom he totally fell in love with, Jacqueline Picasso.
The last wife of the artist was born in Paris under the name of Jacqueline Roque, in February 1927. Her father abandoned them so she lived with her mother until she died, when Jacqueline was eighteen years old.
(1) David Douglas Duncan. Jacqueline wearing a ceramic necklace made by Picasso, 1957. Private collection © David Douglas Duncan 2012 / (2) Pablo Picasso. Jacqueline. Cannes, 3 decembre 1957. Oil on canvas. 116 x 89 cm. Museu Picasso, Barcelona. Gift of Pablo Picasso, 1968. MPB 70.489. Museu Picasso, Barcelona. Photograph, Gasull Fotografia
In 1946, when she was nineteen years old, Jacqueline married André Hutin. Audacious and an adventurer, she went to live in Africa due to the work of André, and two years later they had a daughter, Catherine Hutin. The marriage, however, would break up, and in 1952 she decided to return to her native France with the little Cathy; that same year she met her eternal love, Pablo Picasso.
Jacqueline and Picasso met for the first time in the pottery studio of Madoura, in Vallauris. She had temporary work in the shop, while Picasso worked on his pieces of ceramics. They went out together for a period of time, and in October 1954, they started to live together, when she was 27 and he was 72. We could just about say that pottery was the piece that joined Picasso and Jacqueline.
David Douglas Duncan, Picasso and Jacqueline. La Californie, Canes, 1957, 50 x 60 cm, Museu Picasso, Barcelona. Gift of David Douglas Duncan, 2013 © David Douglas Duncan 2013
Throughout their relation they lived in the south of France. They first settled down in La Californie, a small palace in a residential area of Cannes where they lived until 1959, the year in which Picasso bought the Castle of Vauvenargues; a refurbished castle from the 17th century close to Aix-en-Provence and to the mountain of Sainte-Victoire. Thus, in the month of February 1959 they settled there until June 1961. 1961 was the year of their marriage and their definitive move to Notre-Dame-de-Vie in Mougins, Cannes, the property that would become their home and studio.
The couple lived together for almost two decades until the death of the artist in 1973. Jacqueline did everything for Picasso and Picasso did everything for her, and this everything was so absolute that Jacqueline, after the death of her love, of her companion, dedicated the rest of her life to making his legacy last. She remained alongside him until 15th October 1986.
David Douglas Duncan, Picasso and Jacqueline at La Californie, 1962, 50 x 60 cm, Museu Picasso, Barcelona. Gift of David Douglas Duncan, 2013 © David Douglas Duncan 2013
We couldn’t avoid sharing with you the wise words of the journalist and art critic Hélène Parlmelin, who in her book Picasso dit… (Paris, 1966) narrates what she was to Picasso and his work: « Jacqueline has to an unimaginable degree the gift of becoming painting. She has within her that power on which a painter is nourished. She is the fountain-head. She is made for it, and she submits, and dedicates herself to it and dies in harness, living all the time and never posing. She secretes within her this multiplicity of herself. She peoples Notre-Dame-de-Vie with her hundred thousand possibilities. She unfolds to infinity. She invades everything, becomes everybody. She takes the place of all the models of all the painters on all the canvases. All the portraits are like her, even if they are not like each other. All the heads are hers and there are a thousand different ones. All the eyes are black, all the breasts are rounded; it is raining Jacquelines all through the house, and whichever way you turn she is looking at you. Sometimes it is almost a portrait, sometimes not at all. She is that enormous nude or that delicate one, that epitome of woman or that long exposition of femininity. She is sitting, lying, standing, everywhere. She is dreaming, thinking, playing. During these twelve years of Picasso’s life, painting and love have mated and mingled (…)».
Pablo Picasso. Portrait of Jacqueline with a flowery straw hat. Mougins, 10 April 1962. Etched with a gouge and a knife in three colours, on linoleum plate, printed on Arches vellum paper (Sabartés proof, II and final state). 35 x 27 cm (plate); 62 x 44 cm (paper). Museu Picasso, Barcelona. Gift of Jaume Sabartés, 1964. MPB 70.299. Museu Picasso, Barcelona. Photograph, Gasull Fotografia
Jacqueline inhabits our museum, in the permanent collection we can find her represented by Picasso in various works, but at the same time the Museu Picasso of Barcelona was one of the major benefactors; he donated 41 ceramic pieces and an oil painting, The woman in a bonnet (1961). «Generosity was a characteristic feature of the personality of Jacqueline Picasso and Barcelona bears major testimony to her magnificence», Pasqual Maragall said, former Mayor of Barcelona. And furthermore, Jacqueline Picasso currently lives together with other friends and artists of the artist in the temporary exhibition «Picasso. Portraits» that you can visit until June 25th 2017.
(1) Pablo Picasso. Face. Vallauris, 19 may 1948. Press-moulded white earthenware, decorated with slips and oxides, partial brushed transparent glaze. 32,3 x 38,4 x 3,8 cm. Museu Picasso, Barcelona. Gift of Jacqueline Picasso, 1982. MPB 112.442. Museu Picasso, Barcelona. Photograph, Gasull Fotografia / (2) Pablo Picasso. White face. Valauri, [8 april] 1955. “Empreinte originale”: white earthenware, brushed unevenly with glaze on front. Verso: decorated with slips and oxides, glazed, dark grey patina. 33 x 39,5 x 4,4 cm. Museu Picasso, Barcelona. Gift of Jacqueline Picasso, 1982. MPB 112.467. Museu Picasso, Barcelona. Photograph, Gasull Fotografia
Jacqueline with a yellow ribbon (1917) in the inauguration of the exhibition «Picasso. Portraits», 16th March 2017. Museu Picasso of Barcelona. Photo: David Campos
Lola Simó Bergua
Internship student, Digital Content Department
DAIX, Pierre. Le Nouveau Dictionaire Picasso. Éditions Robert Laffont, SA, París, 2012.
DORMENT, Richard. Picasso’s saddest love, 2004. The Telegraph (On line). Avalaible in: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/3610082/Picassos-saddest-love.html
GUAL, Malén; Museu Picasso, Barcelona. Jacqueline. Ed. Institute of Culture of Barcelona. Barcelona City Council, 2013.
McKULLY, M; RAEBURN, M; CORTADELLA, M. Picasso Ceramics. Jacqueline’s Gift to Barcelona. Ed. Institute of Culture of Barcelona. Museu Picasso, Barcelona, 2012.
Museu Picasso, Barcelona. From Pablo to Jacqueline. Paintings, drawings, sculptures and graphic work 1954-1971. Ed. Barcelona City Council, 1990.
Pace Gallery, NYC. Picasso’s Fascination with Jacqueline. Picasso & Jacqueline: The Evolution of Style, 2014 (On line). Avalaible in: http://www.pacegallery.com/exhibitions/12690/picasso-jacqueline-the-evolution-of-style