Jean Cocteau - Buy or sell works
5 July 1889, Maisons-Laffitte (France) - 11 October 1963, Milly-la-Forêt (France)
Jean Couteau was one of the most important multidisciplinary artists from the first half of the 20th century. During his lifetime his creative work ranged from literature, film, drawing, painting, frescos, tapestries, ceramics, photography, theatre, opera and ballet. His catalogue of works has earned him a secure place in the collective consciousness of artists and critics even today.
As one of the key figures in late Parisian salon culture, and one of the most vocal presences in the era’s newly emerging media, Cocteau’s friends, confidants and collaborators included a remarkable variety of prestigious names from various artistic movements. Some notable figures include Coco Chanel, Édith Piaf, Francis Picabia, Pablo Picasso, Marcel Proust, Gertrude Stein and Igor Stravinsky.
As a teenager, Cocteau had already been introduced to Parisian literary circles. He published his first anthology of poems, La Lampe d’Aladin, at the age of 19 and both his poetry and drawings were printed in magazines. It was at this time that he made the acquaintance of several of his long-term supporters and collaborators, such as Diaghilev and Proust.
In the years leading up to 1915 he met other significant figures such as Stravinsky, Satie and Picasso, with whom he initiated projects that would have a decisive influence on the artistic climate of the early 20th century.
As the 1920s began, Cocteau found himself rubbing shoulders not only with jazz musicians but also with the Dadaists, and thus a series of his written productions came into fruition. For example in 1927 Oedipus Rex, with music by Stravinsky, received its first performance.
During the fifties and up to his death in 1963, Cocteau entered a period in which, he became more intensively involved with figurative art. His drawings, paintings, watercolours, tapestries and photographs were exhibited at several international exhibitions. He also designed interiors such the Chappelle Saint-Pierre or Notre Dame de France in London.
The honours he was awarded during these years include: Commandeur de la Légion d’honneur; Jury President of the Cannes Film Festival; Doctor honoris causa at Oxford University; and member of the Académie Française.
He died in 1963 in Milly-la-Forêt, France.