Jacqueline Roque (24 February 1927 – 15 October 1986) was born in Paris on 24 February 1927. She is best known as the muse and second wife of Pablo Picasso. Their marriage lasted 11 years until his death, during which time he created over 400 portraits of her, more than any of Picasso's other loves.
Born in 1927 in Paris, she was only two when her father abandoned her mother and her four-year-old brother. Jacqueline never forgave him. Her mother raised her in a cramped concierge's lodge near the Champs Elysées, working long hours as a seamstress. Jacqueline was 18 when her mother died of a stroke. She married André Hutin, an engineer, in 1946 with whom she had a daughter, Catherine Hutin-Blay. The young family moved to Africa when Hutin worked, but four years later returned to France and divorced Hutin. She settled down on the French Riviera and took a job at her cousin's shop, the Madoura Pottery in Vallauris.
Picasso met Jacqueline in 1953 at the pottery when she was 27 years old and he was 72. He romanced her by drawing a dove on her house in chalk and bringing her one rose a day until she agreed to date him six months later. In 1955, when Picasso's first wife Olga Koklova died, he was free to marry. They married in Vallauris on 2 March 1961.
Roque's image began to appear in Picasso's paintings in May 1954. These portraits are characterized by an exaggerated neck and feline face, distortions of Roque's features. Eventually her dark eyes and eyebrows, high cheekbones, and classical profile would become familiar symbols in his late paintings. It is likely that Picasso's series of paintings derived from Eugène Delacroix's The Women of Algiers was inspired by Roque's beauty; the artist commented that "Delacroix had already met Jacqueline." In 1955 he drew Jacqueline as "Lola de Valence", a reference to Édouard Manet's painting of the Spanish dancer. In 1963 he painted her portrait 160 times, and continued to paint her, in increasingly abstracted forms, until 1972.
After Picasso's death in 1973, Francoise Gilot, Picasso's companion between 1943 and 1953, and mother of two of his children Claude and Paloma, fought with Roque over the distribution of the artist's estate. Gilot and her children had previously unsuccessfully contested the will on the grounds that Picasso was mentally ill. Roque prevented Claude and Paloma from attending Picasso's funeral. Eventually the parties agreed to establish the Musée Picasso in Paris.
Devastated and lonely after the death of Picasso, Jacqueline Roque killed herself by gunshot in 1986 when she was 59 years old. Shortly before her death she had confirmed that she would be present at an upcoming exhibit of her private collection of Picasso's work in Spain.
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