Olga Picasso (Khokhlova) was a Russian ballet dancer and wife of Pablo. She is the fourth square (a 1923 portrait by Picasso) on my Patchwork Of Mothers. They had a son together, named Paulo, who features in a lot of Picasso’s art.
Here is an interesting excerpt from John Richardson’s biography. It’s Picasso’s mother doing the talking, upon first meeting Olga.
“You poor girl, you don’t know what you’re letting yourself in for,” she supposedly told her. “If I were a friend, I would tell you not to do it under any conditions. I don’t believe any woman would be happy with my son. He’s available for himself but for no one else.”
Whether Picasso’s mother said this or not, is irrelevant, I believe that last sentence to be completely true.
Very, very few woman have been able to give themselves so utterly to their work.
His second wife killed herself, as did a long-time mistress and his grandson. Paulo drank himself to death, I believe. However brilliant (and it is) his art, almost everyone related to Picasso was wounded by him.
Here is a little Picasso-related-something I made a few years back.
The square was cut from the NPG leaflet, below.