Art and love is a happy encounter and pure magic; without them, our world would not exist. Doubt and failure constantly await the artist in his fury to live and to express what he experiences intensely or painfully. A work of art remains forever a masterpiece built on experience and made of impulses, emotions and sensations pushed to their climax.

Artistic inspiration doesn't come from nowhere, even if it comes from an unknown or spontaneous source! In the art of loving, in the art of saying and repeating this love, of painting it or sculpting it to make it better known and to transmit it, there is no chance because there is clearly a thread, an invisible link that connects the artist to the fuel that allows him to progress so well in his work! Couldn't this discreet engine which takes her along, be a face, a female body which, in its intimacy, stirs her guts?

The muse, the one to whom the artist owes everything

Behind the artist, of course, hides a muse; it is she who allows him to express his desires and his loves but also his sufferings in the heart of a sexuality not always assumed. Each relationship between muses and artists has been governed by an inexhaustible source of inspiration but also irremediably by a destructive tension, and Pablo Picasso will not be the last to benefit from the windfall.

The tormented artist has always needed a lover, brief or more insistent, to bring out all his talent. The inspiration he unconsciously seeks in his perpetual quest for creativity is the woman who brings it to him, often with great damage. Greek mythology has reminded us of this since the dawn of time: it is women who have inspired painters, sculptors, poets and filmmakers for love stories who will die with humanity. Not before ! All of these muses without exception had their own story: each of them was for the most part of an unsuspected intensity that commands our respect.

Antiquity: the first muses

The 9 ancient daughters of Zeus , the supreme God and of Mnemosyne, goddess of Memory, closely linked to Apollo, the God of the Arts, would they have been the first of our muses of Antiquity who would have marked the Story ? The rascals so keen on knowledge were generated according to Greek mythology after nine nights of love. They sang, played music, danced, recited epic and lyrical poetry, occupied themselves with astronomy and rhetoric. They were not penguins either to unpack erotic stories in search of their first cavalcades. They remain today the memory of this Art of the Muses.

Impressive indeed is this formidable presence of the Muses of Ancient Times in our poetry! Joachim du Bellay, Pierre de Ronsard, Alfred de Vigny, Victor Hugo, Alfred de Musset and many others were superbly inspired by it! As for Baudelaire and his Flowers of Evil, it was rather love in suffering.

The muses, from the Renaissance to the present day

Simonetta Vespucci, the first artist muse

Simonetta Vespucci (1453-1476) is probably the first woman to have been identified as an artist's muse. She was born in 1453 near Genoa, married the cousin of the navigator Amerigo Vespucci, was a very good living in Florence under the reign of Lorenzo the Magnificent to the point of dazzling the entire Royal Court with her beauty and natural class. Piero di Cosimo then imagines her as Cleopatra, and Sandro Botticelli also falls under the spell of this Simonetta who has become the most beautiful woman in Florence. She became his model for several of his works, and one of his best known, the Venus. Tuberculosis got the better of her youth, and death came to get her in 1476 when she was only 23 years old.

“La Bella Simonetta” the feminine ideal par excellence, was she really behind “the Birth of Venus”? Perhaps, but the mystery remains intact and that is the whole alchemy of the artist and his muse! Sandro secretly in love with Simonetta? History does not confirm, it only suggests. The only certainty: Botticelli wanted to be buried at his side. A favor granted to him when he died in 1510.

Picasso: when love meets art

Olga Khokhlova (1891-1955)

Olga Khokhlova (1891-1955) was Picasso's first wife. ! She is a muse full of torments but of unparalleled sculptural beauty. In an impressive exhibition bringing together 350 works, the Picasso Museum paints a controversial portrait of this extraordinary muse. Pablo goes so far as to offer Dona Maria, his own mother, one of his works “Olga Khoklova à la mantilla” (1917). “My little one, he will never be married except to painting,” Dona Maria tells Olga. The sequel does not prove him wrong.

Fernande Olivier (1881-1966)

Fernande Olivier (1881-1966) was Picasso's companion and muse between 1904 and 1909. She met him at the Bateau-Lavoir, the painter's new stronghold, where she was a photo model. Both frequenting the artists of Montmartre, nothing surprising in this meeting which very quickly accelerates: it gives him the taste for life which leads to the pink period of the painter. Jealous, ungrateful, Picasso ends up locking him in his studio when he goes out and forbids him to pose for other artists. She definitively left Picasso without a penny in 1912. It is admitted nowadays that she really posed for the representation of one of these young ladies from Avignon.

Marie-Therese Walter (1909-1977)

Marie-Thérèse Walter (1909-1977) was one of Picasso's most important muses, but she was also the secret mistress of the untenable Pablo. Officially, their first meeting dates from 1931 but it was in 1926 that Marie-Thérèse crossed paths with the still anonymous Pablo at the age of 15. She became, through the influence of the future genius, first his model then very quickly his muse, his object and his muse for ten years. However, Maya is both the consecration of their passionate and reciprocal love. The merit of Marie-Thérèse is immense, fantastic, incredible in authenticity to have been able to accompany Picasso both so little and for too long in his permanent search for love. During the winter of 1935-1936, Pablo Picasso met Dora Maar but remained with Marie-Thérèse for some time. Picasso's greatest muse of all periods committed suicide in 1977, four years after Pablo's death.

For more curiosity, wouldn't there be a surprising something of Marie-Thérèse Walter and Dora Maar in Guernica of 1937 and in Face lying with book with these two facets which seem to unite one and the same woman?

Dora Maar (1907-1997)

Dora Maar (1907-1997), originally a photographer, established herself in surrealist painting. She entered Picasso's life during the winter of 35-36 and never left him. She is the lover and the muse but ultimately pays dearly for the feelings she feels for this extraordinary painter, obscuring all of her own artistic work. A posthumous sale in 1998-1999 introduced the public and professionals to a very personal production by Dora who had never left her studio.

Francoise Gilot (1921)

Françoise Gilot (1921), centenary to date, would it be the only one of her muses to have saved her skin? Françoise shared the life of the Spanish genius from 1944 to 1953. She met Picasso in May 1943 during the Occupation when he was living his love affair with Dora Maar. During their life together, she gave him 2 children, Claude and Paloma, and became the radiant and solar “Flower Woman” of the Master.

Jacqueline Roque (1927-1986)

Jacqueline Roque (1927-1986): She is Picasso's ultimate muse and his last wife. He met her in 1952 and she followed him for the last 20 years. In his life as in his work, Jacqueline takes a special place at his side. On his death, Pablo Picasso bequeathed him a very important part of his work, including the Château de Vauvenargues. Given the experience of the great painter and his past loves, there is subsequently a lot of damage, particularly on the legal level. Depressed, Jacqueline committed suicide on October 15, 1986 and was buried at her request in the castle park alongside Picasso.

Often much younger than the artist, Picasso's companions or wives were his models: the life of this genius painter knew suffering, jealousy, infidelity, heartbreak but also a lot of love, creativity, more or less shifted or ephemeral happiness. All this palette of feelings has always crossed Picasso's brushes and punctuated the love life of the Master and his Muses.

Salvador Dalí: his love, Gala

Gala (1894-1982), born under the name of Elena Diakonova, she was the magnificent muse of the world of loving Art. At 18, she met Paul Eluard and married him. At 21, she posed for Max Ernst and became his mistress. In 1929 and her 35 years well assumed, she met Dali. It's mutual love at first sight! She is the chastened wife of the great painter but also his muse of an impressive richness of spirit. Essentially concerning Gala, what could be more remarkable in the works of Salvador Dali than "La Madone de Port-Légal" from 1950 and the "Galatea aux sphères", oil on canvas painted in 1952 which represents Gala in an enigmatic set of spheres.

Galatea… Gala… it's a double reference to the memory of Galatea to celebrate her virtue with dignity! Galatea is one of the neroids in Greek mythology who lived on a shore in Sicily. Isn't there hidden behind Gala "Polyphemus the talkative", son of Poseidon and the nymph Thosa, the lover of Galatea? What an arid path to guess Gala's head and shoulders in this series of spheres suspended in space. It is art and love in all its complicity. In 1968, Dali acquired the castle of Pubol in his native Catalonia. Gala has been resting there in peace since 1982.

The more than close relations which have thus been established for a very long time between the artists and their muse were made and undone according to the joys and the sorrows, the complicities and the conflicts but whatever the wear of time, the woman, in all its richness, remains for life the great inspiration of the artist who sought love without finding it. In art and love, exists and intensely lives a couple, probably ephemeral but inseparable for eternity.