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date: 09 April 2020

Cocteau, Jeanlocked

Extract

French, 20th century, male.

Born 5 July 1889, in Maisons-Laffitte; died 11 October 1963, in Milly-la-Forêt.

Painter, pastellist, potter, lithographer, draughtsman, illustrator, poster artist. Mythological subjects, genre scenes, portraits, landscapes. Murals, designs for tapestries, stage sets, designs for ceramics.

‘Versatility’ is perhaps the term that best sums up Jean Cocteau. Cocteau the poet: Dance of Sophocles, Cape of Good Hope; Cocteau the novelist: Children of the Game (Les Enfants Terribles); Cocteau the playwright: Parents of the Game (Les Parents Terribles); Cocteau the filmmaker: Blood of a Poet, Orpheus (Orphée), Beauty and the Beast and, by no means last, Cocteau the graphic artist, who produced drawings throughout his life and, in his final years, paintings.

Jean Cocteau designed the first Ballets Russes poster for Sergei Diaghilev and subsequently put together a large number of portfolios of his own sketches, including Drawings (1923), The Mystery of Birdcatcher Jean...

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