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Jean COCTEAU

(1889-1963)

Profil aux poissons (Lithograph) - Jean COCTEAU

COCTEAU Jean

Profil aux poissons, 1960

Lithograph LCD6414

750.00€

2

Jean COCTEAU

Biography

Jean Cocteau, born on July 5, 1889, in Maisons-Laffitte and died on October 11, 1963, in Milly-la-Forêt, is a central figure in the French artistic world of the 20th century, known for his multidisciplinary work that encompasses poetry, theater, cinema, drawing, and painting. His contributions to the development of modern art are marked by a fusion of tradition and innovation, as well as a continual exploration of classical myths through a modern and fantastical prism.

From an early age, Cocteau was immersed in the world of the arts, encouraged by a mother who fostered his artistic education. His talent became apparent early on with the publication of "La Lampe d'Aladin" in 1909, a collection of poems that already revealed his penchant for the marvelous. This taste for the fantastical would become a constant in his work, allowing him to navigate easily among artistic genres.

At the heart of the Parisian avant-garde, Cocteau befriended artists such as Picasso and Modigliani and collaborated closely with the Ballets Russes. These interactions nourished his artistic approach, characterized by a desire to break down the barriers between artistic disciplines. His film "The Blood of a Poet" (1930), for example, is a pioneering work that combines poetry, cinematography, and surrealism, reflecting his theories on the multidisciplinarity of art.

Cocteau also excelled in the realms of theater and cinema. His films, notably "Beauty and the Beast" (1946), are acclaimed for their rich aesthetics and deep symbolism, where he reinvents traditional tales with a contemporary sensitivity and an incomparable visual style. This ability to reimagine the old in a new context is also evident in his plays such as "The Infernal Machine" (1934), an innovative adaptation of the Oedipus legend.

Besides his cinematic and theatrical achievements, Cocteau is an accomplished visual artist. His drawings and paintings, often overlooked in comparison to his other works, are imbued with a distinctive aesthetic that blends realism and surrealism. His graphic works adorn many books and his murals decorate the walls of chapels and public buildings, showing his skill in working with various mediums and scales.

Cocteau not only creates; he also theorizes about art, emphasizing the need for artists to remain constantly attuned to their times while engaging with the past. His writings on art, including his essays and journals, explore the relationships between text and image, poetry and drama, the visible and the invisible.

Jean Cocteau passed away on October 11, 1963, at the age of 74.

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Two galleries in Paris

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