Picasso, you rascal, you!

"Portrait de Dora Maar," 1936
Picasso's lover & muse

"Portrait de Marie-Therese Walter," 1932
Mistress of Picasso


“I remember one day while I was painting Guernica in the big studio in the Rue des Grands-Augustins, Dora Maar was with me. Marie-Therese dropped in and when she found Dora there, she grew angry and said to her ‘I have a child by this man. It’s my place to be here with him. You can leave right now.’

Dora said, ‘I have as much reason as you have to be here. I haven’t borne him a child but I don’t see what difference that makes.’

I kept on painting and they kept on arguing.

Finally, Marie-Therese turned to me and said, ‘Make up your mind. Which one of us goes?’

It was a hard decision to make. I liked them both, for different reasons: Marie-Therese because she was sweet and gentle, and did whatever I wanted her to; Dora because she was intelligent. I decided I had no interest in making a decision. I was satisfied with things as they were. I told them they’d have to fight it out themselves. So they began to wrestle. It’s one of my choicest memories.”

Hall, D. & Wykes, P. (1990). Anecdotes of Modern Art. As Picasso told Francoise Gilot.

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  1. Amy February 13, 2012 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    Rascal is putting it lightly!

  2. Vic DePratti February 13, 2012 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    Kirby. Great blog. Two recollections: For the past few years, I have been fortunate to attend life drawing sessions with Jim Hubbell in Julian. We all look, the classes tought me to see. Also, when I drew a particularly distorted figue, I got a glimmer of where impressionistic art cam from. The bell rang! Ahaah. Second recollection. Francosie Gillot was the last of several of Picasso’s lovers. After his death, Francoise and Jonas Salks came together. Salk was the dedication speaker at the opening of the newly built San Diego Blood bank, circa 1973. I asked Salk if he would consider being the dedication speaker. His response, “first I need to meet you and know why you want me.” We met. He spoke. Wish I had met Francoise.

    • kkeditor February 14, 2012 at 6:04 pm - Reply

      interesting that Francoise Gilot chose these two men to be such an important part of her life..men with extraordinary creativity in art and science.

  3. Lydia Pettis February 13, 2012 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    Kirby, You’ve done it again!! Made me get all full of questions and thoughts and wanting to write an essay. OR…even better, participate in some group sessions to use your blog as a jumping off place. The two women and Picasso’s response really got me going: what do I think about him as a person with that response? which woman do I relate to or want to relate to? do I need to take note from Picasso and live my life that way moreso, instead of trying so hard to figure out answers? Especially answers for other people’s problems? You notice, I haven’t said a word about the art itself. If I had to choose between the paintings, I’d pick Dora. She is intriguing and colorful and makes me want to know her. Marie-Therese talks out of the side of her mouth. Makes me suspicious. Thanks for bringing us readers some fine art and fine jostling of the mind. Lydia

    • kkeditor February 14, 2012 at 6:06 pm - Reply

      Yes! There is great merit in letting other people solve their problems their way and not ours! Who would have thought Picasso would teach us so valuable a lesson?! Kirby

  4. dede schuhmacher February 14, 2012 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    who won the wrestling match? Isn’t it just like a man to want his cake and eat it too.



    • kkeditor February 14, 2012 at 6:07 pm - Reply

      LOL!!! K

    • Lydia Pettis February 14, 2012 at 7:37 pm - Reply

      Hello, Dede. I wonder about that, too. I also wonder if we could find out. I shall look into it. Lydia

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    • kkeditor April 5, 2012 at 2:17 pm - Reply

      So glad you are benefiting from the blog. I have some interesting plans for future blogs and hope you continue following! Good Luck with your venture! Kirby

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