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Geneviève Laporte

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Geneviève Laporte

Genevieve Laporte (1926 – 30 March 2012) was a French philanthropist, documentary filmmaker, artists' model, poet and author of sixteen books. She was best known for being one of Pablo Picasso's last lovers during the 1950s. In 2005 she auctioned off 20 of Picasso's works which had been given to her, many of them portraits of her.

Life

Laporte was born in Paris.

Picasso

Reportedly she met Picasso as a teenager during World War II, finding common ground in poetry. She was in her mid-twenties when the affair began in 1951, although Picasso was nearly 50 years older than she was and had recently fathered two children with Françoise Gilot. Some art historians and museums carrying Picasso's work have dubbed the paintings he made around that time the "Genevieve Period", as many of them feature symbolic tributes to his model and muse as well as dedications "To Genevieve". Picasso wanted Laporte to move in with him after Gilot left him in 1953, but she refused — which, she was told by Jean Cocteau, "saved her skin".[1] In 1959 she married a fellow Parisian resistance fighter instead.

She was perhaps most famous for auctioning off 20 works, many with her as a subject, which were bestowed upon her during the secret love affair with Picasso in the 1950s. The auction occurred in June 2005. With the money earned from the auction she created a foundation "Genevieve Laporte de Pierrebourg, pour la defense de la nature et des animaux", with agreement of the Fondation de France.

Work and achievements

She made 18 documentary films in Africa, and the Académie française awarded her a prize in 1999 for a volume of poetry. Laporte wrote sixteen books, four of which are on Picasso:

  • Si tard le soir le soleil brille (1973)
    • English translation: Sunshine at midnight (1974)
  • Un amour secret de Picasso (1999)
  • Du petit Pablo au grand Picasso (2003)
  • Le grand Picasso (2004)

Her final book was Du petit Wolfgang au grand Mozart (2006).

References

  1. ^ Picasso's mistress survives, with a smile

External links

  • Laporte's personal web site
  • Mention of Geneviève Laporte's death (French)
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