Picasso Lover Passes Away

The artist who was known as Pablo Picasso’s “muse” died on Tuesday at the age of 101, CNN reported.

Françoise Gilot’s death was confirmed by her daughter Aurelia Engel, according to the New York Times.

Engel told the Times that her mother had recently suffered from heart and lung problems.

Born on November 26, 1921, in Neuilly-sur-Seine outside of Paris, Gilot studied law and philosophy before deciding to pursue an art career.

In 1943, Gilot had her first art exhibition at the gallery of art dealer Madeleine Decre in Paris. It was at this exhibition that Gilot first met Picasso. She and the artist, who was 40 years older, soon became lovers.

During their 10-year relationship, Gilot and Picasso had two children, Paloma and Claude Picasso. When their relationship ended in the mid-1950s, Gilot married artist Luc Simon. However, the couple divorced in 1962.

In 1964, Gilot wrote a memoir with journalist Carlton Lake titled “Life with Picasso” in which she assessed their decade together. While the memoir sparked outrage among Picasso’s supporters, it eventually made Gilot something of a hero among feminist art historians.

Despite the uproar over the memoir, Gilot exhibited her art extensively throughout Europe and in the United States, including Venice, Turin, Paris, and New York City.

In 1970, Gilot had her first solo museum exhibition, though more would follow over the next several years.

That same year, she married virologist Jonas Salk, the developer of one of the first polio vaccines.

In addition to being a painter, Gilot also made prints and wrote poetry.

In 1972, she published a book of poems and prints titled “Sur la Pierre” (or On the Stone).

By the mid-1970s, Gilot was residing with Dr. Salk in California while traveling frequently for exhibitions.

Works by Françoise Gilot can be seen in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC, and the New Orleans Museum of Art, as well as the Musée Picasso in Antibes and the Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris.