(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Henriette Theodora Markovitch alias Dora Maar (November
22, 1907 – July 16, 1997) was a
photographer and painter,
best known for being a lover and muse of
She was born in
Tours, Western France, on
November 22, 1907.
She died 89 years of age in Paris on July 16, 1997. Her father
her mother was born in Tourraine, France. Dora grew up in Argentina.
She was famous as a photographer, and also was a painter herself, before
she met Picasso.
She made herself better known in the world with her photographs of the
successive stages of the completion of
that Picasso painted in his workshop on the rue des Grands Augustins, and
other photos of Picasso. Together she and Picasso studied printing with Man Ray.
Picasso met her in January 1936 (when she
was 29 years old), at the terrace of the Café Les Deux Magots in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris. The
famous poet Paul
Eluard, who accompanied him, had to introduce him to this beautiful, sad
woman. He was attracted by her beauty and
self-mutilation (cutting her fingers and the table - he got her bloody
gloves and exhibited them on a shelf in his apartment). She spoke
Spanish fluently, so Picasso was even more fascinated. Their relationship
lasted nearly nine years.
Dora Maar became the rival of blonde
Marie-Thérèse Walter who had given a daughter named Maya to Picasso.
Picasso often painted beautiful sad Dora (she suffered because she was
sterile) and called her his "private muse."
Dora Maar kept his paintings for herself until her death in 1997. They were
souvenirs for their extraordinary love affair which made her famous forever.
For him she was the "woman in tears" in many aspects. She suffered from his
moods during their love affair. Also she hated the idea that in 1943 he had found
a new lover,
Françoise Gilot. Picasso and Paul Elouard sent Dora to their friend, the
psychiatrist Jacques Lacan, who treated her with
psychoanalysis. In Paris, still occupied by the Germans, Picasso left to
her a drawing of 1915 as a good-bye gift in April 1944; it represents Max Jacob
his close friend who had just died in the transit camp of Drancy after
his arrest by the
Nazis. He also left to her some still
lifes and a house at Ménerbes in Provence.
The picture, Dora Maar, is currently registered with the FBI's
National Stolen Art File.
FBI reports that the picture was stolen from a Saudi yacht in Antibes between
March 7-11, 1999, which also unearths the identity of the anonymous bidder,
who obviously was a Saudi royal Picasso aficionado.