On The Beach: Dora Maar, Nusch Éluard, Pablo Picasso and Paul Éluard (1937)

Photograph of Dora Maar, Nusch ?luard, Pablo Picasso and Paul ?luard on the beach September 1937 by Eileen Agar 1899-1991

Dora Maar, Nusch Éluard, Pablo Picasso and Paul Éluard on the beach by Eileen Agar, September 1937 via

Photograph of Dora Maar and Pablo Picasso on the beach September 1937 by Eileen Agar 1899-1991

Dora Maar, Nusch Éluard, Pablo Picasso and Paul Éluard on the beach by Eileen Agar, September 1937 via

Amazing Photographic Portraits of Dora Maar by Man Ray (1936)

Dora Maar (1907 – 1997) was a French photographer, painter, and poet. She was a lover and muse of Pablo Picasso.

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Portrait of Dora Maar by Man Ray, 1936 via

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Portrait of Dora Maar by Man Ray, 1936 via

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Portrait of Dora Maar by Man Ray, 1936 via

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Portrait of Dora Maar by Man Ray, 1936 via

Surrealist Muse Nusch Éluard – Photos by Dora Maar

Nusch Éluard (born Maria Benzn; 1906 – 1946) was a French performer, model and surrealist artist.

Born in Mulhouse (then part of the German Empire), she met Swiss architect and artist Max Bill in the Odeon Café in Zurich; he nicknamed her “Nusch”, a name she would stick to.

She moved to Paris in 1928 working as a stage performer, variously described as a small-time actress, a traveling acrobat, and a “hypnotist‘s stooge”. in In 1930 she met the poet Paul Éluard working as a model. They married him in 1934. She produced surrealist photomontage and other work, and is the subject of “Facile,” a collection of Éluard’s poetry published as a photogravure book, illustrated with Man Ray’s nude photographs of her.

She was also the subject of several cubist portraits and sketches by Pablo Picasso in the late 1930s, and is said to have had an affair with him. Nusch worked for the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. She died in 1946 in Paris, collapsing in the street due to a massive stroke.

Dora Maar – Nusch Eluard, c. 1935

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Nusch Eluard (couchée à plat ventre sur la plage), 1936-37 Photo by Dora Maar ©

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Dora Maar, Nusch Eluard, 1935

The “Astonishing Works” by 1930s Muse Dora Maar

The Surrealist photographer Dora Maar (1907-1997) is better known as Picasso’s dark-haired model, muse and companion in the late 1930s than for her astonishing works, although she was an artist in her own right and was a famous photographer before she met Picasso.

She was born Henriette Theodora Markovitch in Tours, Western France to a Jewish family. Her father, Josip Marković, was a Croat architect, famous for his work in South America; her mother, Julie Voisin, was from Touraine, France. Dora grew up in Argentina.

In 1927, Dora Maar had begun studying painting in Paris, but quickly switched to photography at the École de Photographie de la Ville de Paris. She supported herself in the 1920s and 1930s as a commercial photographer. While still in her twenties, she had managed to make a reputation in Paris for her fashion and advertising photographs. She then moved toward surrealism under the guidance of Paul Éluard, the poet, and Man Ray, the surrealist photographer. She was with Éluard at the Deux Magots café when Picasso noticed her and asked to be introduced. She was 29 years old and he 54.

Her first photography exhibition was at the Galerie de Beaune in Paris, in 1937. It has been said that Maar understood better than any artist of her time the naturalism of Surrealism. She knew that there was far more within every image, every person and place, than could possibly be described, that “interior vision” is more than matched by what is outside ourselves.

However, in the late 1930s she had a change of heart. She gave up on her photography entirely and returned to painting. This was at least partly because Picasso felt the former to be an inferior, or perhaps non-existent, art medium. Eventually Picasso left Dora Maar in the mid-1940s, for someone else. Their breakup left her in a severe depression, which followed a long reclusion that covered the last forty years of her life, until her death in 1997. She did continue to write poetry and to paint, and, in the 1980s, she revisited her photographic work.

The Years Lie in Wait for You (Dora Maar, 1936)

The Years Lie in Wait for You (Dora Maar, 1936)

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Leonor Fini 1936 photo by Dora Maar

Dora Maar, Double Portrait, 1930

Dora Maar, Sans Titre (Main-coquillage), 1934

© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011 © Kunstsammlung NRW