Fernande Olivier and Pablo Picasso, in the intimacy of the Bateau-Lavoir
From 14 October 2022
to 19 February 2023
Musée de Montmartre
12 rue Cortot – 75018 Paris
“Fernande Olivier & Pablo Picasso, in the intimacy of the Bateau-Lavoir” is the first exhibition to focus on Fernande Olivier, a central figure of the Montmartre avant-garde. As a modern woman, model, artist and writer, Fernande Olivier is an inescapable witness of an era and an artistic milieu.
Fernande Olivier (1881-1966) began her career as a professional model. She worked for many artists such as Cormon, Manolo, Canals, Sunyer... before becoming better known as the companion of the young Picasso.
“Fernande Olivier & Pablo Picasso, in the intimacy of the Bateau-Lavoir” is the first exhibition to focus on Fernande Olivier, a central figure of the Montmartre avant-garde. Her “Intimate Memories” evoke her condition as a woman and their difficult emancipation at the beginning of the century. The hard work of a model and the bohemian life in Montmartre before, during and after her encounter with Picasso and his gang are also the focus of this exhibition.
Amongst the colourful picture of Montmartre life, other artists chose Fernande as a model, such as Van Dongen, whose portraits will be presented. During his relationship with Picasso from 1905 until his break-up in 1911, at the heart of his daily life as an artist, Fernande was at the centre of his creation – from the blue period to the Cubist revolution – inspired by multiple alchemies around her face.
Fernande had much to say about herself through her writings: “Souvenirs intimes” and “Picasso et ses amis”. This personality of the Bateau-Lavoir and of Montmartre life at the beginning of the 20th century is the subject of a first exhibition entirely devoted to her.
The exhibition illustrates some of the key episodes of the avant-garde, recounted by Fernande through family archives and numerous public and private loans. The point of view adopted is that of Fernande through her writings, correspondence and even her works. She analyses her writings, the support of Paul Léautaud and the reception of her works.
As a modern woman, model, artist and writer, Fernande Olivier (1881-1966) is an inescapable witness of an era and an artistic milieu.
This exhibition is part of the Picasso Celebration (1973-2023), for the 50th anniversary of the death of the painter
Buste de femme (étude pour Les Demoiselles d’Avignon)
Huile sur toile Musée national Picasso-Paris
© Photo RMN-Grand Palais (Musée national Picasso-Paris) Adrien Didierjean
© Succession Picasso