Dora Maar – weeping woman
Dora Maar was a French artist and photographer. She was a successful commercial photographer and held a prominent place in the Parisian bohemian circles as a surrealist photographer, artist and poet.
The epithet “Picasso’s weeping woman” pursued Dora until the end of her days. Biographers compared him with the sun and her with the meteor which was too close to the giant star. They were focused not on her talent but on her nervous breakdown after parting with Pablo.
Henriette Theodora Marković (her real name) was born on November 22, 1907 in Tours. Her father was an architect of Croatian origin and her mother was a French woman. When Henriette was three years old, the family moved to Buenos Aires. In the capital of Argentina her father built several buildings, including Austro-Hungarian Embassy, for which he later received Emperor Franz Joseph award.
In 1920 the girl arrived in Paris, where she studied painting, then photography. She photographed vagabonds and passers-by in the streets of London, Paris and Barcelona and was actively involved in public life.
Dora together with her lover, filmmaker Louis Chavance, was an active member of the French anti-fascist movements.
She was an assistant to Man Ray and opened her own photo studio in 1935.
In 1936, Paul Eluard introduced Maar to Picasso in a Paris cafe Les Deux Magots. She became the girlfriend, model and muse of the great artist.
Maar took many photos of Picasso (especially during his work on the Guernica). Picasso often painted sad Maar. She became his weeping woman.
In May 1943, Picasso met Françoise Gilot, who was 20 years younger than Dora and 40 years younger than him.
In 1945, after the break up with Picasso, Maar experienced severe spiritual crisis and spent two years in a psychiatric clinic.
In December 1944 Dora first met Lord James, a writer, who worked on a biography of Picasso. He later became her close friend and lover.
She never married and left no heirs.
Dora Maar died on July 16, 1997 in Paris.
In James Ivory’s film Surviving Picasso (1996) Julianne Moore played the role of Dora Maar and Anthony Hopkins played the role of Picasso.
Dora Maar by Picasso
Photos by Dora Maar