From love to satiety: Russian muse Picasso and his first wife
From love to satiety: Russian muse Picasso and his first wife
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Pablo Picasso and Olga Khokhlova against the background of the Parade ballet poster, 1917

About muses Pablo Picasso a lot has been written. Among all the women who in different years fascinated the artist, a special place is occupied by Olga Khokhlova, Russian ballerina, who did not manage to achieve dizzying success on stage, but became the first wife of a genius master. During the first meeting with Picasso's mother, Olga heard her admonition: "No woman will be happy with my son." Only many years later Olga Khokhlova was convinced how much truth there is in these words …

Portrait of Olga Khokhlova by Pablo Picasso Pablo Picasso and Olga Khokhlova

Olga Khokhlova lived a difficult life with Picasso, full of ups and downs, love and satiety. Their romance began during the European tour of the ballet troupe, in which Khokhlova performed. Olga did not shine with a special talent, but she was diligent enough to get a place in the card ballet. Picasso, in turn, created the scenery for the performances and accompanied the troupe. Olga attracted the artist with her grace, restraint and meekness. Despite the fact that she was already 27 years old, she was never married and did not know intimacy with men, so the sophisticated Pablo Picasso enthusiastically began to conquer an impregnable, at first glance, fortress.

Olga Khokhlova in a mantilla, 1917. Painter: Pablo Picasso

Olga's prudence in the future guaranteed her a comfortable existence: before marriage, she insisted on signing a contract, according to which half of her husband's fortune (including canvases) in the event of a divorce would be at her disposal. While the newlyweds enjoyed each other, Pablo was not too burdened by the terms of the contract. Olga gave birth to Pablo's first child - Paul. The 40-year-old artist was happy and devoted himself entirely to caring for his wife and son. He often painted portraits of his family, light images were imbued with love and tenderness.

Photo portrait of Olga Khokhlova

After a while, the charm began to fade, it became obvious: Olga and Pablo are too different. The Russian ballerina wanted to lead a social life, she devoted herself to home improvement in the style of the best salon examples, and also almost demanded that Pablo match the image of a dandy. The Spanish artist, on the other hand, wanted freedom, creative disorder. After a while, the artist became interested in a new passion - Marie-Thérèse Walter. This 17-year-old girl turned Pablo's head, and Olga could only suffer, realizing that she could practically oppose nothing to the feeling that overwhelmed her husband. Then she made an attempt to file for divorce, but the fear of losing half of her fortune forced Pablo to dissuade her from this step. Formally, Picasso and Khokhlova remained husband and wife for many more years, Olga left first, she died in Cannes from cancer, Pablo did not consider it necessary to say goodbye to his wife.

Pablo Picasso, Olga Khokhlova and their son Paulo, Antibes, 1924 Pablo Picasso and Olga Khokhlova in Rome, 1917

Luck almost always accompanied Pablo Picasso in relationships with women, but he could not win the heart of one of his lovers. Françoise Gilot - the rebellious muse of Picasso's eccentric genius.

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