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Pablo Picasso - Paloma with Celluloid Fish, 1950




Pablo Picasso - Paloma with Celluloid Fish, 1950

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Oil and enamel on plywood

About Francise Gilot and her children Paloma Picasso and Claude

After the liberation of Paris in 1944, Picasso began to keep company with a young art student, Francise Gilot. The two eventually became lovers, and had two children together, Claude, and Paloma. Uniquely among Picasso's women, Francise eventually left Picasso in 1953 because of his abusive treatment, and infidelities. This came as a severe blow to Picasso, who was used to submissive women who lived for whatever scraps of affection or attention he deigned to give them.

He went through a difficult period after Francise's departure, coming to terms with his advancing age, and his perception that he was an old man, now in his seventies, who was no longer attractive, but rather grotesque to young women. A number of ink drawings from this period explore this theme of the hideous old dwarf as buffoonish counterpoint to the beautiful young girl.

Picasso was not long in finding another lover, Jacqueline Roque. Jacqueline worked at the Madoura Pottery, where Picasso made and painted ceramics. The two remained together for the rest of Picasso's life, marrying in 1961. Their marriage was also the means of one last act of revenge against Francise. Francise had been seeking a legal means to legitimize her children with Picasso, Claude and Paloma. With Picasso's encouragement, she had arranged to divorce her then husband, Luc Simon, and marry Picasso to secure her children's rights. Picasso then secretly married Jacqueline after Francise had filed for divorce in order to exact his revenge for her leaving him.

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