Marie Laurencin (1883-1956)
Born: October 31, 1883; Paris
Died: June 8 1956; Paris
Biography of Marie Laurencin
Born illegitimately in Paris, Marie Laurencin was a unique female painter who, though baptized in the artistic movement that would change the very currents of early twentieth century art, such as Fauvism and cubism, went on to develop her own distinctive aesthetic world. She was introduced by Black, who was a classmate at art school, to a run-down apartment called “le Bateau-Lavoir” which served as a hangout/atelier for poor progressive artists. It was there that she met and spent a legendary youth with the likes of Picasso and Apollinaire. She went on to adopt the pale colors and clean form that characterize her works, many of which feature female forms, and carve out an important place among the many talents of the Paris school.
Laurencin would go on to spend a life full of ups and downs that spanned two World Wars and included a marriage to a German baron, defection to Spain, divorce, and return to Paris, where she became a socialite. She died in Paris at the age of 73.
One can detect several different stages in Laurencin’s work over the years; yet permeating all her work are the sensitivity of an exceptionally perceptive woman and a lyricism tinged with angst. The pastel tones of rose, purple, blue and gray evince a glimmer of unmistakable intelligence and the existence of a cautiously hinted sensuality that create a soft and serene atmosphere, as if the entire scene were covered with a veil of mystery.
In addition to her paintings, Laurencin was also very accomplished in the applied arts, creating numerous, primarily printed, illustrated books; designing stage sets and costumes for the likes of the Russian Ballet; and becoming involved in interior design. Her representative works include The Fan, The Kiss, and The Three Young Women.