Of being radiantly solar.....

I always loved this photo by Robert Capa of Picasso and Françoise Gilot, his young lover and painter who shared his life for nearly ten years. Françoise is most radiant. Her step is confident. Her straw hat is her crown and like a queen protected by a zelous admirer, she seems to lead the way towards a bright future.

I always wondered how this photo was made, if it was prepared or spontaneous. Eventually, I learned that the young man in the background, smiling like a mischievous Cupidon, is the son of Picasso's younger sister Maria de los Dolores.
There is so much happiness in this portrait I can hardly take my eyes off it.

J'ai toujours aimé cette photo prise par Robert Capa, un beau jour d'été sur la plage de Golfe-Juan, de Picasso et sa jeune amante Françoise Gilot qui partagea sa vie pendant près de dix ans. Françoise est lumineuse. D'un pas ferme et assuré, couronnée d'un simple chapeau de paille, et telle une reine protégée par un admirateur zélé, elle s'avance et semble ouvrir une marche triomphante vers un futur radieux. Je me suis toujours demandé si cette photo fut l'effet d'un geste spontané ou d'une préparation minutieuse. Récemment, j'ai découvert que le jeune homme se tenant en retrait derrière Picasso, tel un Cupidon aimable et souriant, est le fils de la plus jeune soeur de Picasso, Maria de los Dolorès.
Il se dégage une telle sensation de bonheur et d'élégance nonchalante dans cette photo que j'ai du mal à détacher mon regard.

photo Robert Capa - 1948

A few days ago, I was thrilled to receive Françoise Gilot's book, Vivre avec Picasso (living with Picasso). It opens with these words : "J'ai rencontré Pablo Picasso en mai 1943, pendant l'Occupation. J'avais vingt et un ans, et je sentais que la peinture serait ma vie..." I met Pablo Picasso in may 1943 during the Occupation. I was twenty-one years old and I felt painting would be my whole life.

Il y a quelques jours, j'étais ravie de recevoir dans mon courrier, le livre de Françoise Gilot Vivre avec Picasso, édité chez 10/18. Il ouvre sur ces mots: "J'ai rencontré Pablo Picasso en mai 1943, pendant l'Occupation. J'avais vingt et un ans, et je sentais que la peinture serait ma vie..."

I try not to read too fast to linger more in the exciting entourage of Matisse, Cocteau, Miró and the master himself.....

Je savoure ma lecture, je ne veux pas aller trop vite pour ne rien perdre de ce vibrant témoignage et rester plus longtemps en compagnie de Matisse, Cocteau, Miró et le maître lui-même.....

Please tell me what are the most interesting biographies/memoirs you read
and have a wonderful week end !!

ps : to please a few friends in France who complain about my writing in English and not in French, I made an effort to do so. Actually it is easier for me to write in French but it's also more time-consuming, so I guess I'll do it once a week, in my friday or saturday post.


Dreamgirl said…
Absolutely stunning! I have never seen that photo before today... wow!

Thanks for always leaving such sweet comments over at my place.

Wishing you a warm and wonderful weekend!
Patricia said…
I have just finished reading Francoise Gilot's Matisse and Picasso: A Friendship in Art and I loved the entire book. She is a brilliant woman, and an amazing artist. Should you wish to have this book I would love to send it to you!
sinnlighet said…
Armless boneless but not hopeless, by Mikael Andersson, a swedish and soooo strong hero....

In swedish the title is "armlös, benlös men inte hopplös"

Ohhh... have I told you (yes I know) how mutch I love your amazing blog..
I have seen that photo before but never looked at it like you did, but you are right it is a very happy photo indeed...
David Engel said…
Hello Beautiful Lala,

That is a great photo! Such a parade!

As to great bio's here are a few that I've enjoyed:

Miles - The Autobiography
Space Is The Place (About Sun Ra)
Dance of the Infidels - A Portrait of Bud Powell
Lush Life (about Ellington's alter ego Billy Strayhorn)

Here are a few on my shelf I'm looking forward to:

Living To Tell The Tale (Marquez)
Wondrous Strange (Glenn Gould)
Bamboula! ( the wild life of composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk)
Edward Hopper
Uncle Tungsten (neurologist Oliver Sachs)


DolceDreams said…
I read that book a while ago and also really enjoyed it... so fascinating, and the pictures are not common ones that you see. I just got the Modigliani book, but have no time to read right now :(. Actually, I am reading a book about "Cleansing", and am about to embark on a 3 week detox. How exciting! hmmmm
Happy Sunday to you,
Elizabeth said…
Yes! This is such a very joyful picture.
So glad you featured it.
Hugs and greetings from New York
Susana said…
No la había visto nunca!!!!

Me gustaron mucho las biografías de:

Marilyn Monroe
Chairman Mao
Judy Garland
Lewis Carroll
Gala (Dalí's wife)
Ahhhh...and now I want to know so much more, too!
First time visiting your lovely blog!

That is a very joyful photograph!

I enjoyed reading the biographies of many historical early Americans such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams.
I also enjoyed biographies about Beethoven and Mozart. I've also enjoyed " Dear Theo"-Van Gogh's letter to his brother, and "Angela's Ashes" by Frank McCourt.
Caroline said…
So beautiful - full of joy! No time to read at the moment, but I'll look out for this book! Thanks for sharing!
This one I will definately have to read! Other biographies/memoirs I rather like: West with the Night - Beryl Markham, Gellhorn the biography of war correspondent Martha Gellhorn and the biography of Edward Weston.
Linda Sue said…
The photo is certainly enticing! I think it was Ezra Pound who said "my lover must fall in love with my art , not me, the person, and we will take tea together three times a week." I suppose that would be the relationship one might have with Piccasso.
Mélanie said…
j'ai déjà lu ce livre et j'avais adoré voir le comportement de ce genie vu par sa compagne
Anonymous said…
I have always been fascinated about their complicated relationship. This is such a wonderful photograph. Thank you for posting this.
Agus said…
No sé por qué...., pero me gusta mucho esta foto....

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