Designs of Marie Laurencin (1883-1956)

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection is composed of 7 watercolour paintings/sketches which may be by Marie Laurencin. The paintings are undated. The signatures are underlined. Each is stamped with the Edinburgh University Reid Music Library mark, and a sign resembling upper-case letter 'L' over letter upper-case 'O'.

The watercolours were in an envelope noted with 'M78 BLOW-26' in top-left, and 'P5231 G-N' in top-right. The envelope notes the titles of each watercolour, and these are listed as:

  • Venus and Adonis (P5231 G)
  • Cupidon (P5231 H)
  • The Huntsman (P5231 I)
  • The Shepherdess (P5231 K)
  • The Shepherd (P5231 L)
  • The Three Graces (P5231 M)
  • The Imaginary portrait of John Blow and his Lady (P5231 N)

There is no 'J' noted in the list, simply 'G-N'.

Administrative / Biographical History

Marie Laurencin was born in Paris on 31 October 1883. She attended the Lycee Lamartine in the city before studying porcelain painting at the Sevres factory. Later on she entered the Academie Humbert. In 1907 she exhibited at the Clovis Sagot gallery in Montmartre, and there she was introduced to Guillaume Apollinaire by Pablo Picasso and she became romatically involved with Apollinaire until 1913. In 1908, Laurencin achieved her first sale when Gertrude Stein purchased Group of artists. This group portrait of Laurencin, Apollinaire, and Picasso and his mistress became the theme of a larger version in 1909 entitled Apollinaire and his friends. In 1911 she exhibited in the Salon des Independants, and she began illustrating books. The ending of her relationship with Apollinaire in 1913 also saw the end of her Cubist-inspired period.

In 1913, Laurencin established a contract with the art dealer Paul Rosenberg which would last until 1940, and in 1914 she married the German Baron, Otto von Waetjen. On the outbreak of war however they fled to Spain and spent time in Madrid and Barcelona, and then also to Germany. In 1921 she returned to Paris and in the same year she divorced von Waetjen. The early-1920s saw Laurencin designing sets and costumes most notably for the Ballets Russes - Les Biches - as well as painting society portraits including that of Coco Chanel. In the 1930s she was teaching at the art academy, Villa Malakoff. In 1942 she published Le Carnet des nuits. In 1944, her apartment on Rue Savorgnan de Brazza was requisitioned by the Germans and she did not get it back until 1953.

Marie Laurencin died in Paris on 8 June 1956 and she was buried in the cemetary Pere Lachaise.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

We strongly encourage you to contact us before your visit as special access conditions and restrictions apply to some collections. Please see our information on requesting material

Acquisition Information

Material transferred from Reid Music Library, 2002. Accession No: E2006.18

Note

The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Marie Laurencin 1885-1956 by Isabel Suchanek. Full-text [online]. Marie Laurencin 1885-1956. Accessed 19 July 2006.

Other Finding Aids

None prepared for this collection.

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Graeme D. Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections.