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Artists Marie Laurencin
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Marie Laurencin

French Painter, Poet, and Illustrator

Movements and Styles: Cubism, Salon Cubism

Born: October 31, 1883 - Paris, France

Died: June 8, 1956 - Paris, France

Marie Laurencin Timeline

"Why should I paint dead fish, onions and beer glasses? Girls are so much prettier"

Summary

Marie Laurencin played a significant role in negotiating female and lesbian identity in early-20th century modern art movements dominated by men. From early in life, Laurencin was predominantly interested in worlds in which women moved independently and peacefully, creating self-portraits and scenes featuring animals and women which were striking in their thematic consistency. Laurencin's name was made through her association with Cubism, exhibiting with the Section d'Or and in the Armory Show, but as a mature artist resisted dominant artistic movements. Laurencin developed her own aesthetic, favouring escapist imagery in pastel hues, that was at once decorative and radical in its embrace of feminine tropes. The artist, throughout her life, embraced the ambiguous and the ephemeral, creating a body of work that offers a confident and self-sufficient vision of female affection and creativity.

Key Ideas

Laurencin's images of female identity, often alluding to her own position as an artist or to spontaneous creative rituals such as dance or dress, created links between lesbian identity and creative fertility. Laurencin's paintings, drawings and prints consistently presented the possibility of escape into a world without men, constructed through visual tropes - such as pastel colors, scarves and animals - associated with the feminine.
Marie Laurencin created a style distinctively her own whilst expanding upon earlier periods and movements in both art and literature. She borrowed symbolic imagery, such as fans and deer, from Rococo painting, experimented with unusual color schemes as did the Impressionists and drew upon modern ideas of abstraction in stripping her images of extraneous detail. Her dreamlike sensibility, meanwhile, borrowed from Symbolist poetry.
Laurencin's paintings were unashamedly pleasurable, celebrating art as something that could serve a decorative purpose. She frequently collaborated on sets and costumes for ballet, along with interiors, and created images that prioritised the instinctive over the intellectual, serving as arguments for the value of beauty as the art world moved toward theory-dominated practice.
Detail from Réunion à la campagne (Apollinaire et ses amis) (1909) by Marie Laurencin
Detail from Réunion à la campagne (Apollinaire et ses amis) (1909) by Marie Laurencin

In post-war Paris, Marie Laurencin proved herself as both an eccentric artist and businesswoman. She charged higher prices for work which she found dull than for that which she enjoyed; she charged men double what she asked of women and charged brunettes more than blondes. But it did her legacy no harm and in 1983 the Musée Marie Laurencin opened in Japan - it was the first museum in the world devoted to a single female painter.

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Marie Laurencin
Interactive chart with Marie Laurencin's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le BrunÉlisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun
Pierre-Auguste RenoirPierre-Auguste Renoir
Henri MatisseHenri Matisse
Francisco GoyaFrancisco Goya
Robert DelaunayRobert Delaunay

Personal Contacts

Natalie Barney
Guillaume ApollinaireGuillaume Apollinaire
Francis PicabiaFrancis Picabia
Sonia DelaunaySonia Delaunay
Pablo PicassoPablo Picasso

Movements

CubismCubism
Aesthetic ArtAesthetic Art
The RococoThe Rococo

Influences on Artist
Marie Laurencin
Marie Laurencin
Years Worked: 1904 - 1956
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Louise BourgeoisLouise Bourgeois
Hannah WilkeHannah Wilke
Harmony Hammond
Grace HartiganGrace Hartigan
Judy ChicagoJudy Chicago

Personal Contacts

Sonia DelaunaySonia Delaunay
Guillaume ApollinaireGuillaume Apollinaire
Fernand LégerFernand Léger
Tamara de LempickaTamara de Lempicka

Movements

ExpressionismExpressionism
Art DecoArt Deco
The Pictures GenerationThe Pictures Generation
Feminist ArtFeminist Art

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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by Zaid S Sethi

Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Anna Blair

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Zaid S Sethi
Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Anna Blair
Available from:
First published on 29 Jan 2019. Updated and modified regularly.
[Accessed ]