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Picasso's Women. Françoise Gilot

«I gave Picasso two children, Claude & Paloma. I shared my life with him for nine years, loving him, although I was the only one who left him»

In 1943, amidst the French Resistance, when Picasso's relationship with Dora Maar was still strong, he would meet his new love. Françoise Gilot. She sought him out, he found her. Picasso was 62, Françoise just 23. Françoise Gilot: Her bright brown eyes and her intelligent and dreamy attitude gave her a bucolic presence. But she was also very grounded and physical. Plus, she had a passion and talent for painting, which only excited Picasso more.

Her upper-middle-class status was yet another attraction for the painter. Françoise had a strong-willed grandmother who greatly influenced her. Françoise would often go to be painted by Picasso and to learn from him. During this period, Picasso's love life began to become chaotic. He was still with Dora but also secretly seeing Marie-Thérèse Walter under the pretext of visiting their daughter Maya. And now, without looking, he finds Françoise Gilot.

End of WW2 and moving to the Mediterranean

At the end of World War II, in 1945, Picasso took Françoise Gilot for an extended stay on the French Riviera. Dora Maar would go her own way, now in a house next to the Mediterranean that Picasso himself had gifted her. And near him. On the French Riviera, in Antibes, Françoise showed Picasso the abandoned Grimaldi Palace, which Picasso had dreamed of for years as a place to paint.

For several months, Picasso transformed the old palace into his own studio. Running out of canvases, he bought large wooden boards and painted the entire spirit of the Mediterranean there. That world that he carried within him, since his childhood days in Málaga. There, he would paint 'The Joy of Life' and the entire series of fauns. The forgotten museum is today one of several named the Picasso Museum. It would make sense of one of his most famous phrases, "When one is young, one is young forever."

Picasso never wanted to be a leader, but he was

Françoise's big mistake, like Dora's, was to give up painting and live only for Picasso. She gave him two children, Claude, born in 1947, and Paloma, in 1949. But by the early 50s, that young woman began to move beyond the awe she had felt for the genius and felt increasingly uncomfortable at his side. On the other hand, another new and strange love appeared in his life, when the painter was close to turning seventy, not sought but found.

Françoise didn't give much importance to this relationship. Her problems were elsewhere. With her relationship with Picasso already deteriorated, she had to endure the onslaught of those who wanted to greet the genius during those years on the French Riviera. And also in Paris, where tourists would first visit the Eiffel Tower and then wanted to see him. And in the front row were the Spaniards, who wanted to greet the living symbol of anti-Franco art; Cela, Alberti, the painters of Málaga and many others. By the mid-50s, this pilgrimage began and would never cease.

Summers at Picasso's villa were utter chaos. In addition to friends, curious onlookers and those trying to bask in his glory, Marie-Thérèse with Maya, and even Olga occasionally came to visit. The frenzy, fame, and the artist's disdain eventually drove Françoise to despair. As she admitted with humour and irony, she couldn't spend the rest of her life next to a historical monument.... Before they returned to Paris, in 1953, she found some friends and told Picasso she would leave him forever. He, furious and injured in his pride, immediately kicked her out.

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