Many are familiar with Pablo Picasso‘s work and contribution to the world of art. His career stretched over seven decades, and he introduced techniques that changed the evolution of art. When Picasso and Gerorges Braque presented the idea of cubism, it made the world think of art in a different way. No longer was art confined to two dimensions. With cubism art existed in multiple planes, and a whole new world of possibility was opened to artists. Picasso bridled western art and became one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. His versatility and unrelenting creativity have made him known as the father of modern art.MadamePicassoMiniPoster

As much as we know about the art itself, the man behind the art has remained very much a blank slate. The way a person treats those dearest to them says a lot about the type of person they are, and Picasso’s relationships with women speak volumes about him as well as his art. Very few know the tales of the women that inspired him. The passion, the torment, and the manipulation these women readily suffered at the hands of the great artist isn’t always mentioned.

In his life, of the many affairs and lovers, there were seven women that held serious relationships with Picasso and made a deep impression upon his work. Of those seven, two killed themselves and two others went mad. However, one woman, the most gentle and inexperienced, left a mark upon Picasso and inspired some of his most well known works. Eva Gouel captured the heart of the young artist, if only for a brief time, and helped shape a man most people know by name while she remained a mystery. In Anne Girard’s most recent novel, Madame Picasso, she blends the historical facts of the relationship between Picasso and Eva with a fictional narrative that explores the dark depths of the artist.

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Pablo Picasso (Spanish artist, 1881–1973) 1912-1915. Eva - Marcelle Humbert (Eva Gouel 1885-1915)
Pablo Picasso (Spanish artist, 1881–1973) 1912-1915. Eva – Marcelle Humbert (Eva Gouel 1885-1915)

Girard tells the story of the young and naive Eva as she travels from the countryside to the city of Paris desperate to become famous. Eva goes by her invented Parisian name Marcelle Humbert in attempt to create a pseudo personality to gain the courage and confidence to become the glamorous star she so aspires to be. After landing a job mending costumes at Moulin Rouge, she is hopeful that she will eventually become a dancer in the shows. Before he dreams can be realized, she encounters the dark, brooding Pablo Picasso in the audience, and she is drawn to his commanding presence.

An affair evolves that parallels Picasso’s work with cubism, and he pays tribute to Eva in numerous paintings. However, Picasso’s painting titled Ma Jolie – my pretty one-  is the most outwardly affectionate declaration that he made for any of the women he was with. Eva proves to be one of the great loves of Picasso’s life, yet it is not enough for the demanding artist. True to form he betrays her in the most spectacular way before moving on continuing to trample other women as he makes a name for himself.

photo credit: Alexander C Haeger
photo credit: Alexander C Haeger

Girard is a writer and historian that weaves incredible narration with fact to create unstoppable stories. Behind the veil of success she finds the truth and rebuilds it piece by piece. She holds degrees in English Literature and Psychology which are showcased in her vivid writing and insights that cut to the very core of the characters. 

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Visit her Official Website and read an excerpt from Madame Picasso and read her other captivating novels The Paris Wife, Z, and The Aviator’s Wife

The Giveaway

mp pack 1v2THE GOLDEN EXPERIENCE prize pack

From page and screen, see the Golden Age come to life! Enter for your chance to win a copy of Madame Picasso plus a film collection including Moulin RougeMidnight in Paris, and The Great Gatsby.

How to Enter to Win

Step#1: Please answer in the blog comments section below: What is your favorite piece by Picasso?

Step #2: Use this easy giveaway form below to record your entries – good luck!! The comment entry is the only mandatory one you must complete to enter. All others are purely optional for those that really want to win!

Prizing & samples courtesy of Harlequin. Giveaway open to US addresses only.

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