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Jacqueline Picasso

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Jacqueline Picasso

Jacqueline Roque (February 24, 1927 – October 15, 1986) was born in Paris on February 24, 1927. She is best known as the muse and second wife of Pablo Picasso. Their marriage lasted 11 years until his death, during which time he created more than 400 portraits of her.[1]

Early life

Born in 1927 in Paris, she was only two when her father abandoned her mother and her four-year-old brother. Jacqueline never forgave him. Her mother raised her in a cramped concierge’s lodge near the Champs Elysées, working long hours as a seamstress. Jacqueline was 18 when her mother died of a stroke. She married André Hutin, an engineer, in 1946 with whom she had a daughter, Catherine Hutin-Blay. The young family moved to Africa when Hutin worked, but four years later returned to France and divorced Hutin. She settled down on the French Riviera and took a job at her cousin's shop, the Madoura Pottery in Vallauris. Picasso met Jacqueline in 1953 at the pottery when she was 27 years old and he was 72. He romanced her by drawing a dove on her house in chalk and bringing her one rose a day until she agreed to date him six months later. In 1955, when Picasso's first wife Olga Koklova died, he was free to marry. They married in Vallauris on 2 March 1961.

Roque's image began to appear in Picasso's paintings in May 1954. These portraits are characterized by an exaggerated neck and feline face, distortions of Roque's features. Eventually her dark eyes and eyebrows, high cheekbones, and classical profile would become familiar symbols in his late paintings.[2] It is likely that Picasso's series of paintings derived from Eugène Delacroix's The Women of Algiers was inspired by Roque's beauty; the artist commented that "Delacroix had already met Jacqueline."[2] In 1955 he drew Jacqueline as "Lola de Valence", a reference to Édouard Manet's painting of the Spanish dancer.[3] In 1963 he painted her portrait 160 times, and continued to paint her, in increasingly abstracted forms, until 1972.[3]

After Picasso's death in 1973, Francoise Gilot painter and Picasso's former companion between 1943 and 1953,[4] and mother of two of his children Claude and Paloma,[5] had already launched litigation to have their father certified insane, fought with Roque over the distribution of the artist's estate, and agreed to establish the Musée Picasso in Paris.[3]

Jacqueline Roque, after confirming her presence to an upcoming exhibit of her private collection of Picasso's work in Spain, killed herself with a gun 13 years after the death of Picasso in Mougins.[6]



  • Pepita DuPont, "The Truth about Jacqueline and Pablo Picasso"
  • Arianna Huffington, "Picasso: Creator and Destroyer"
  • Banham, Joanna, Jiminez, Jill Berk. Dictionary of Artists' Models. Taylor & Francis, 2001. ISBN 1-57958-233-8
  • Hohenadel, Kristin. Mixing art and commerce. Los Angeles Times, March 21, 2004. [1]
  • Richardson, John. The Sorcerer's Apprentice: Picasso, Provence, and Douglas Cooper. University of Chicago Press, 2001. ISBN 0-226-71245-1

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