Marie Laurencin (31 October 1883 – 8 June 1956) was a French painter and printmaker.[1] She became an important figure in the Parisian avant-garde as a member of the Cubists associated with the Section d'Or.

Marie Laurencin
Marie Laurencin, c.1912, Paris.jpg
Marie Laurencin, c. 1912, Paris
Born(1883-10-31)31 October 1883
Paris, France
Died8 June 1956(1956-06-08) (aged 72)
Paris, France
Known forPainter, Sculpture


Laurencin was born in Paris[2], where she was raised by her mother and lived much of her life. At 18, she studied porcelain painting in Sèvres. She then returned to Paris and continued her art education at the Académie Humbert, where she changed her focus to oil painting.

Marie Laurencin, 1909, Réunion à la campagne (Apollinaire et ses amis), oil on canvas, 130 x 194 cm, Musée Picasso, Paris. Reproduced in The Cubist Painters, Aesthetic Meditations (1913)

During the early years of the 20th century, Laurencin was an important figure in the Parisian avant-garde. A member of both the circle of Pablo Picasso, and Cubists associated with the Section d'Or, such as Jean Metzinger, Albert Gleizes, Robert Delaunay, Henri le Fauconnier and Francis Picabia, exhibiting with them at the Salon des Indépendants (1910-1911) and the Salon d'Automne (1911-1912), and Galeries Dalmau (1912) at the first Cubist exhibition in Spain. She became romantically involved with the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, and has often been identified as his muse. In addition, Laurencin had important connections to the salon of the American expatriate and famed lesbian writer Natalie Clifford Barney. She had heterosexual and lesbian affairs.[3]

During the First World War, Laurencin left France for exile in Spain with her German-born husband, Baron Otto von Waëtjen, since through her marriage she had automatically lost her French citizenship. The couple subsequently lived together briefly in Düsseldorf. After they divorced in 1920, she returned to Paris, where she achieved financial success as an artist until the economic depression of the 1930s. During the 1930s she worked as an art instructor at a private school. She lived in Paris until her death.


Laurencin's works include paintings, watercolors, drawings, and prints. She is known as one of the few female Cubist painters, with Sonia Delaunay, Marie Vorobieff, and Franciska Clausen.[citation needed] While her work shows the influence of Cubist painters Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, who was her close friend, she developed a unique approach to abstraction which often centered on the representation of groups of women and female portraits. Her work lies outside the bounds of Cubist norms in her pursuit of a specifically feminine aesthetic by her use of pastel colors and curvilinear forms. Laurencin continued to explore themes of femininity and what she considered to be feminine modes of representation until her death. Her works include paintings, watercolors, drawings, and prints.

In 1983, on the one hundredth anniversary of Laurencin's birth, the Musée Marie Laurencin opened in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. The museum is home to more than 500 of her works and an archive.


The Muse Inspiring the Poet, 1909 by Henri Rousseau, portrays Marie Laurencin and Guillaume Apollinaire


  1. ^ Maurice Raynal: Modern French Painters, Ayer Publishing, 1928, ISBN 978-0-405-00735-4, p. 108
  2. ^ Phaidon Editors (2019). Great women artists. Phaidon Press. p. 233. ISBN 0714878774.
  3. ^ "Laurençin, Marie". Archived from the original on 2013-09-21.


  • Birnbaum, Paula J. Women Artists in Interwar France: Framing Femininities, Aldershot, Ashgate, 2011.
  • Gere, Charlotte. Marie Laurencin, London - Paris, Flammarion, 1977
  • Groult, Flora. Marie Laurencin, Paris, Mercure de France, 1987
  • Kahn, Elizabeth Louise. "Marie Laurencin: Une Femme Inadaptée" in Feminist Histories of Art Ashgate Publishing, 2003.
  • Marchesseau, Daniel. Marie Laurencin, Tokyo, éd. Kyuryudo & Paris, Hazan, 1981
  • Marchesseau, Daniel. Marie Laurencin, Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre gravé, Tokyo, éd. Kyuryudo, 1981
  • Marchesseau, Daniel. Marie Laurencin, Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint, 2 vol. Tokyo, éd. Musée Marie Laurencin, 1985 & 1999
  • Marchesseau, Daniel. Marie Laurencin, Cent Œuvres du musée Marie Laurencin, Martigny, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, 1993
  • Marchesseau, Daniel, Marie Laurencin, Paris, Musée Marmottan Monet / Hazan, 2013
  • Otto, Elizabeth (2002). "Memories of Bilitis: Marie Laurencin beyond the Cublist Context". Archived from the original on 2007-02-12.
  • Pierre, José. Marie Laurencin, Paris, France-Loisirs, 1988
  • Fonds Marie Laurencin, Bibliothèque littéraire Jacques Doucet, Université de Paris

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