Cascais: a date with the women Picasso loved

Sensuality and beauty go hand in hand at the exhibition on display until September 26th at the Cascais Cultural Centre in Portugal.

Many women had an impact on Picasso's life and work 

Beauty, sensuality, sexuality and mystery are the keys that define the temporary exhibition of prints by Pablo Picasso that can be seen at the 'Centro Cultural' in the pretty coastal city of Cascais, Portugal until the 26th of this month.

Jacqueline, Fernande, Eva, Gaby, Olga, Marie-Therese, Dora, Genevieve, Françoise… the list of names of the women who loved and were loved by Picasso is a long one. Now, images of these many beautiful women have been drawn from the extensive Bancaja Foundation collection and brought together in the Portuguese city of Cascais. The pictures show remarkable women, strong and charismatic, and they all made an impact on the life and development of this multi-faceted artist and ardent lover.

Picasso's first long-term relationship was with the artist's model Fernande Olivier, the subject of many of his Rose period paintings, but he left her for Eva Gouel (her real name Marcell Humbert) who died aged only 30; although Eva's death left him devastated, during her illness he had a relationship with Gaby Lespinasse.

Then he fell in love with the Russian ballerina Olga Khokhlova (supposedly the niece of the Tzar) and she became his wife and bore him a son; his next love, the far younger Marie-Therese Walter, also had a child by Picasso, but he left her in turn and lived with the artist and photographer Dora Maar. Then there was the young student of journalism, Genevieve Laporte, and the French painter Françoise Gillot who gave him two children before leaving him. All these and other women fascinated the Spanish master, and he expressed this fascination for the female sex though his art.

Among all the artist's loves represented at the exhibition in Cascais, the face of Jacqueline Roque, Picasso's model from 1953, his partner, and, from 1961 until his death in 1973, his wife, is one that appears the most. Indeed, one of the most noteworthy elements of this exhibition, is the series of six portraits of this woman who was so essential to the creativity and to the style of the final period of work of this most universal of Spaniards.

Set between the beautiful towns of Estoril and Sinta, on the stretch of coast  known as the Portuguese Riviera, Cascais has a mild climate and fabulous coastal terrain of dunes, cliffs and endless beaches. It also offers an attractive programme of cultural and leisure events, and is a firm favourite among sports lovers, in particular among golf players who are spoiled for choice with the marvellous offer of seven 18-hole greens.

Further information:
Portuguese Tourist Board