Marcelle Humbert (1885-1915) came to Paris with fierce determination and starry eyed dreams of becoming a star. She was working at the Moulin Rouge hiding in the wings backstage sewing costumes for stage actresses during their performances. She longed for the spotlight and found it upon meeting Pablo Picasso. With him she became his third muse, lover, and the woman he truly wanted to marry. For it was with her that he found peace and faithfulness; at least for a little while! She became his ‘Ma jolie’ (my pretty one) in every sense of the word. Their affair began in 1911 until December 1915 upon her sudden death from Tuberculosis or cancer.
Lastly, there are many characters in this novel based upon real artists who became a very important circle of friends during World War I France. For instance, I was introduced to the poetry of Guillame Apollinaire. The author uses it throughout the novel. He apparently led a very interesting life involving the theft of the Mona Lisa! Also, apparently a lot of parties took place at the home of one Gertrude Stein. Oh, if those walls could talk!
I hope everyone interested in Picasso during one of his briefest yet most meaningful relationships decides to buy Madame Picasso by Anne Girard. I can’t imagine being bored or disappointed by it!
Thank you for my review copy in exchange for my review, Harlequin MIRA Publishers
To anyone wanting to pre-order Madame Picasso by Anne Girard the publishing date is August 26, 2014 available to buy, Amazon
Here is a song that kept running through my mind as I was writing my review. To me, it represents the relationship between Picasso and Gouel, El Diablo Amor by Joshua Kadison.