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.