Friday, October 27, 2017

Arty Farty Friday ~ Marie Laurencin, born on Hallowe'en.

 Marie Laurencin - portrait by Man Ray 1923
Text from
Marie Laurencin - French artist, poet, book illustrator, and set designer. Born in Paris, France, on October 31, 1883; died in Paris on June 8, 1956; buried in Père Lachaise cemetery; illegitimate daughter of Pauline Laurencin and Alfred Toulet; married Baron Otto von Waëtjen, on June 21, 1914 (divorced 1921); no children.

Entered the Lycée Lamartine (1893); studied porcelain painting at the École de Sèvres (1902–03); attended Académie Humbert (1903–04); met Georges Braque (1903); exhibited at Salon des Indépendants, Paris (1907); began six-year affair with Guillaume Apollinaire (1907).

There is a quality of child-like innocence that pervades the life and art of Marie Laurencin. Yet she was the only female artist associated with, and accepted by, the male-dominated, exclusive avant-garde art movements in early 20th-century Paris. In fact, it is difficult to envision the primly dressed, bourgeois-mannered young woman as an intimate of the aggressive, boisterous male artists and writers who comprised the inner sanctum of Pablo Picasso's studio, the Bateau-Lavoir, on the rue Ravignan in Montmartre. The bold artistic and literary productions of the group, which included Juan Gris, Matisse, Modigliani, Georges Braque, Max Jacob, and Guillaume Apollinaire, are in glaring contrast to the paintings of Marie Laurencin whose talent "ranged between a flutter and a coo," as she described it. She observed and listened to the creative giants of her time, the Cubists, Fauvists, Dadaists, Symbolists, and Surrealists, but she was not an imitator; she did "not try to compete with male artists on their own ground."

Apollinaire, poet and art critic, praised Laurencin's "typically French grace," her "vibrant and joyful" personality, and her feminine qualities. He believed, "The greatest error of most women artists is that they try to surpass men, losing in the process their taste and their charm." Laurencin was different, however, continued Apollinaire, "She is aware of the deep differences that separate men from women—essential, ideal differences…. Purity is her very element." This appraisal of a talented artist may have been, in part, colored by the fact that Laurencin and Apollinaire were lovers at the time. Marie did, no doubt, embody a feminine aesthetic which was greatly admired by her contemporaries. As her friend, the poet André Salmon, expressed it, "there is something of a fairy wand in the brush of Marie Laurencin." And with this delicate wand, she created a soft, pastel, feminine world that contrasted sharply with the vivid, arbitrary colors and geometric figures emanating from Picasso's flamboyant and daring coterie of male artists.

Once seen, her style becomes instantly recognisable: delicate, pastel, feminine. There are many more examples at Google Image HERE.

  Le Bal élégant, La Danse à la campagne. 1913

 The Rehearsal, 1936.

 La Liseuse (The Reader) 1913


Data from Astrodatabank

Born on 31 October 1883 at 9.00 AM in Paris, France.

This artist's style belies the rather heavy hand of Scorpio in her natal chart. I put this down to a lightening effect from Mercury in Venus-ruled Libra, a more light-hearted Sagittarius rising, and a challenge to Scorpio from Jupiter and Mars in bright and occasionally child-like Leo. No doubt Scorpio was experienced clearly enough in ways other than her art style, which could, in fact have been a kind of release valve.

Planets in her natal chart are confined to signs between Scorpio and Taurus, which produces what astrologers call a "bowl" pattern; in this case there's also a see-saw pattern going on too, across the ascendant-descendant area.
Nutshell explanations from HERE
Bowl pattern = self contained and strong core values; focus on the activated hemisphere.
See-saw pattern = focus on binary opposites requiring objectivity, awareness and balance.
Applying those definitions to Marie Laurencin, the most I can glean from what we know of her, is to repeat that she appears to have managed to balance any potential darkness or heaviness and intensity from Scorpio planets, via focus on Leo and her Sagittarius ascendant.

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