Dora Maar

France / 1907 - 1997
Dora Maar, born Henriette Theodora Marković, is most often referenced as an influential muse to Pablo Picasso. However, Maar was an artist in her own right, having contributed to Picasso’s “Guernica” as well as a sweeping range of her own works. She was born in Tours, France, and raised in Argentina and moved to Paris at 19, where she studied photography.

Maar met Picasso when she was 28, he 54, while working on a photography set. Maar soon became a mistress and muse to the Cubist artist, occasionally modeling for, collaborating with and documenting his work. Their affair lasted 9 years.

When her relationship with Picasso ended, after Picasso took up with Françoise Gilot, Maar immersed herself in Roman Catholicism, having famously said: “After Picasso, God.”

Maar’s legacy extends beyond her romance with Picasso. As Mary Ann Caws expressed in The Guardian, “she drew upon her lover’s imagery in her own representations of his work. This says a great deal about her strength. Her recovery of her image, the agency of her own art, have not been taken as seriously as they deserve. She was not simply ‘imitating’ Picasso, as has been said: she was too intelligent for that. Nor is she ‘imitating’ his portraits of her. She is collaborating in their representation of this tragedy, as she did in photographing his work.” (
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First Collected by

Jaak Mortelmans


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