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Panache

Picasso Isn't The Only One: Artists Who Shared A Troubled Bond With Their Muse

ET Bureau|
An Unhappy Muse
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An Unhappy Muse

Pablo Picasso immortalised French artist and lover Dora Maar through his paintings. Now, she is stepping out of his shadow, with a retrospective of her works at the Pompidou Centre. A look at other artists and their troubled bond with their inspirations.

ET Bureau
Marie-Thérèse Walter And Pablo Picasso
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Marie-Thérèse Walter And Pablo Picasso

Picasso was almost 30 years older than Walter when he met her in 1927. The painter and his muse had a secret affair for over eight years before Walter got pregnant and the affair was discovered by Picasso’s wife, Olga. At the time, Picasso was also having an affair with Dora Maar. The artist suggested that both his muses fight it out for his affections. Walter continued to be involved with Picasso till the early 1940s.

Agencies
Gala Dali And Salvador Dali
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Gala Dali And Salvador Dali

Gala, born in Russia, was first married to poet Paul Éluard. The two had an open marriage and Éluard would introduce Gala to new artists, including Max Ernst, who became one of her lovers. Gala met Salvador Dali in 1929 and soon after, they began to live together. Almost immediately after they met, Dali began featuring Gala in his paintings. She became his muse, portrait model and business manager. He even signed his paintings with both of their names. The two tied the knot in 1934, but Gala continued to have affairs. Her death in 1982 reportedly took a terrible toll on the artist.

Agencies
George Dyer and Francis Bacon
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George Dyer and Francis Bacon

Bacon’s relationship with Dyer was fraught with conf lict and had a tragic end. Their relationship began in late 1963 in a pub in Soho and was infused with passion, alcohol and drugs. From then, Dyer became Bacon’s muse. However, their relationship started to go downhill, and Dyer’s addiction worsened with time. Two days before the opening of the Francis Bacon Retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris in 1971, Dyer committed suicide. Bacon painted the renowned three ‘Black Triptychs’, which portrayed a few moments before and after Dyer’s suicide.

Agencies
Elizabeth Siddal And Dante Gabriel Rossetti
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Elizabeth Siddal And Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Siddal was the muse and model for many pre-Raphaelites before sitting for Rossetti in 1851. Within two years, Siddal and Rossetti began to work with each other exclusively. By 1853, the couple lived together and reportedly became absorbed in each other to the point of becoming anti-social. Some reports suggest that Siddal was plagued by insecurities that she would be replaced by a younger muse and Rossetti worried about his family’s approval. The two married in 1860. Siddal died of an overdose of laudanum two years later.

Agencies
Camille Claudel And Auguste Rodin
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Camille Claudel And Auguste Rodin

Claudel was a French sculptor who started to work as the assistant of renowned sculptor Auguste Rodin. Rodin was drawn to her and soon, she was his lover and muse. What followed was a tumultuous 10-year relationship. Rodin, already in a committed relationship, was not prepared to leave his long-term partner. The destructive aftermath of the affair turned Claudel into a paranoid recluse. She threw away most her of work and spent the last 30 years of her life confined to a mental institution.

Agencies
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