13 June 2022
Marie-Thérèse and Maya.
A lecture on the new exhibition at the Picasso Museum, Paris
with Chris Boïcos
Pablo Picasso met the seventeen-year-old Marie-Thérèse Walter by chance as she was coming out of the Metro near Galleries Lafayette in Paris, where he mother worked as a seamstress, in 1926. He was forty-five-years old and married since 1918 to the former ballet dancer, Olga Khokhlova. The secret love affair between the middle-aged artist and the adolescent girl began shortly after, and was first acknowledged openly in Picasso’s art by a sequence of highly erotic paintings in 1932.
In 1935 Marie-Thérèse gave birth to a little girl officially named María de la Concepción, for short Maya, who is today the artist’s oldest surviving child. In acknowledgement of Maya’s donation of eight important work from her personal collection to the Picasso Museum, the Paris museum is holding a major exhibition of her portrayals in her father’s art. Among these are an extraordinary set of images of her as a little girl mostly from private collections.
Our lecture will cover all the key works of the current exhibition but also discuss Picasso’s relationship with both mother and daughter in that fraught decade of Picasso’s life and art, the 1930s.
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