“Picasso and Maya: father and daughter” – the history of a special relationship

The oldest daughter of Picasso – Maya – today is one of the richest heirs of the art world. After the death of the artist in 1973, she became one of three of his children, who inherited 45,000 works, $ 4.5 million in cash and $ 1.3 million in gold.

In 1927, leaving the metro at Lafayette, the 45-year-old Picasso met 17-year-old Marie-Terese Voltaire, a girl from a bourgeois family that lived in the suburb of Maison-Alfort. As he later said, the beauty of Marie literally knocked him down. Picasso was already a famous artist, hunted for women and hurried for Voltaire to invite him to pose: “You have an interesting face. I’m Picasso. ” The girl had no idea who he was, but succumbed to charm. At that time, Picasso was married to a Russian ballerina Olga Khokhlova, but between him and Marie began a fiery novel, which lasted fourteen years. Marie inspired Picasso for many famous works (for example, three images from “Guernica” were written off from her) and gave him a daughter who was born on September 5, 1935. The girl was named Maya de la Concepcion – in honor of the artist’s sister who died of diphtheria,

"Maya in a Red Apron," Pablo Picasso, 1938

“Maya in a Red Apron,” Pablo Picasso, 1938

The daughter of Maya, 43-year-old Diane Widmayer-Picasso, oversees exhibitions of contemporary art. In 2011, at the Gagosian Gallery in Paris, she presented an exhibition dedicated to Picasso and Marie Voltaire. In 2017, there was an exposition devoted to my grandfather and my mother.

Picasso did not have a family life with Marie-Terese, but was an amazingly loving father. Keen on creativity and new novels, he saw Maya twice a week, and since she turned 20, and these meetings have stopped. However, up to ten years, Maya was his main muse and invariably appeared in works and drawings: “If you look closely, you can see all the tenderness with which Picasso described Maya. It’s amazing, especially for a monster like him, “says Diana Widmayer in  an interview Another Magazine. “Jacqueline Rock’s second wife actually kept him in prison.” Mom did not see him for several years. And today his work seems to resurrect memories. They are like a biography, a diary, which he led for his child – in them what he was thinking about. It was his way of telling about life. In 1996, Maya recalled: “Without exception, Picasso’s paintings are incredibly true, everything here is my children’s clothes, hair, even toys.” The pictures became a literal embodiment of a carefree time, but concealed several meanings. ”

Pablo Picasso with daughter Maya (left), second wife Jacqueline and daughter Catherine, Cannes, 1955

Pablo Picasso with daughter Maya (left), second wife Jacqueline and daughter Catherine, Cannes, 1955

In the paintings of Picasso, Maya became a witness of the time in which she was born. I think it reflects the parental duty in his understanding, when suddenly you ask about the future of your child. At the exhibition there are very strong works of 1937. This was the year when he painted “Guernica”, when he had to make a choice over and over again, determining the future life. He decided to live in occupation Paris. Against the background of historical events, an innocent and happy child is depicted. This contrast brought incredible tension to many of his works.

In the Cubist portrait “Maya with a Doll” in 1938, Picasso portrayed a little girl with the look of a 60-year-old man. He was a very strong portraitist and grasped the very essence at first sight. Mom said that as a little girl, she was at first embarrassed to see this portrait, but then suddenly realized that he had depicted her soul. He had a heavy look, under him everyone felt naked. A funny story came out with Gertrude Stein. Seeing his portrait of his brush, she said: “It does not look like me at all,” and my mother replied: “Yes, but you will love him.” And she fell in love. ”

"Maya with a Doll", Pablo Picasso, 1938

“Maya with a Doll”, Pablo Picasso, 1938

"A woman in a red beret with a pompon", Pablo Picasso, 1937

“A woman in a red beret with a pompon”, Pablo Picasso, 1937

Together with numerous works at the exhibition, photos and videos featuring Picasso and Maya will be shown: “I did not even know the existence of many, and for me it was a real discovery,” Diana says. – Then I found a series of pictures, on which Maya taught him to swim in Antibes. I hope that these shots will help to understand how the history of art is going on. ”

The exhibition “Picasso and Maya: Father and Daughter” in the Gagosian Gallery in Paris will last until December 22.

Picasso with his children Maya, Claude and Paloma on the beach, Golf Juan Valloris, 1953

Picasso with his children Maya, Claude and Paloma on the beach, Golf Juan Valloris, 1953

"Portrait of Maya in Profile", Pablo Picasso, 1943

“Portrait of Maya in Profile”, Pablo Picasso, 1943

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