Olga, a dancer of the Ballet Russe. It was in Rome, spring 1917, where she met Pablo Picasso while he was producing, at the invitation of Jean Cocteau, the decorations and costumes of the ballet Parade (music by Erik Satie, theme by Jean Cocteau, choreography by Léonide Massine). On July 12, 1918, the couple married in an Orthodox Church on rue Daru, with Jean Cocteau, Max Jacob, and Guillaume Apollinaire as witnesses.
As the perfect model during Picasso’s classical period, Olga was first portrayed by thin, elegant lines marked by the influence of Ingres. Synonymous with a certain return to figuration, Olga is often represented as melancholic, sitting, reading or writing. After the birth of their first child, Paul, on February 4, 1921, Olga became the inspiration for numerous maternity scenes, compositions bathed in innocent softness. The familial scenes and portraits of a young boy show a serene happiness that blossom in timeless forms. These forms correspond to Picasso’s new attention to antiquity and the renaissance discovered in Italy, which was reactivated by the family’s summer stay in Fontainebleau in 1921.
Scheduled for spring 2017 at the National Picasso Museum in Paris, the exposition revisits these shared years. It attempts to understand the execution of Picasso’s major artworks by recreating his artistic production filtered through a social and political history.