The Spanish master married Jacqueline Roque, 45 years his junior, in 1961. “Captivated by her beauty”, he performed it 160 times. The exhibition “Picasso, the ultimate work: homage to Jacqueline” will be visible until October 16 at the Space of modern and contemporary art of Brioude in Haute-Loire.
Muse, companion, model, Jacqueline Roque, Picasso’s last wife, who marked the last 20 years of his life, is highlighted at the Doyenné de Brioude (Haute-Loire), which is dedicating an exhibition to her. “She has the gift of becoming painting to an unimaginable degree“, said the painter of the young gallery owner, 45 years his junior, whom he married in 1961.
“Picasso, the ultimate work: homage to Jacqueline» brings together around fifty paintings, sculptures, engravings and ceramics lent by individuals or the Picasso Museum in Paris, visible until October 16 in Brioude, in this former medieval residence classified as a historic monument.
The couple met in the summer of 1952 when this young woman with huge black eyes took care of the Madoura gallery in Cannes. He is 71 years old, she is 26. The artistis captivated by her beauty, the way she wears her head and her gaze», writes Jean-Louis Prat, the curator of the exhibition, in the presentation album.
“As he grew older, his relative sentimental instability which fueled the gazettes and fueled the myth of the minotaur greedy for fresh flesh which stuck to his skin, was called into question by his meeting with Jacqueline“, underlines the curator Brigitte Léal in this book.
The exhibition has the merit of highlighting the essential role of the last companion of this artist collector of women, whose behavior is sometimes controversial in the #metoo era. “The ultimate work is not a late work, there is something that makes Picasso regain vitality, due to the presence of his muse“, explains to AFP Jean-Louis Prat, who himself knew Jacqueline.
From 1953, before their marriage, Picasso painted her tirelessly, frantically. In 1963 alone, she was represented 160 times in her works. The couple remained together until the painter’s death in 1973. Jacqueline committed suicide in 1986 after sinking into depression.
“She was a woman with personality, intelligence, liveliness. She had something special about her, which has been highlighted in all the works that we see of her.», recalls the curator of the exhibition, describing a woman «strong and frail at the same time“.
Jacqueline as a matador
Among the paintings presented, many portraits: in Turkish costume, in djellaba, in Arlesian dress, with a dog or a cat, wearing different hats, seated, legs bent or lying down. “The ultimate work is a testimony to this permanent risk that the artist takes, carried to the end by the desire to face and speak his truth on a daily basis.“says Jean-Louis Prat.
In 1955, Pablo Picasso launched into variations of a famous painting by Eugène Delacroix, “The women of Algiers», fascinated by the resemblance of one of the subjects to Jacqueline. In its variations ofLuncheon on the Grass” and of “Olympiaby Manet, a woman playing with a bird or a cat often takes on the features of her muse.
“This constant companion also inspires him with subjects he would not have thought of years earlier.», explains Jean-Louis Prat. Like these new characters of musketeers who arise from 1967, half-Spanish, half-Dutch or “The Matadorpainted in 1970.We see that she is an active muse, for example through all the photos she has taken. She participates in daily life. It is present in the workshop, in the house, permanently“, he adds.
The exhibition is punctuated by enlargements of photographs taken by Jacqueline herself. For Brigitte Léal, “the paintings piled up in the studio and which she enjoys photographing with undeniable talent provide proof of her secret domination“.