Picasso and the Ballets Russes
Pablo Picasso's first collaboration with the Ballets Russes was Parade. In a letter sent to a friend, Jean Cocteau the librettist said "Picasso amazes me every day, to live near him is a lesson in nobility and hard work". Picasso's studio in Rome had a little crate that held the model of "Parade" with its trees and houses, and on a table were the painted characters: the Chinaman, Managers, American girl, and horse. Cocteau described his friend's unusual artistic process: "A badly drawn figure of Picasso is the result of endless well-drawn figures he erases, corrects, covers over, and which serves him as a foundation. In opposition to all schools he seems to end his work with a sketch." The audiences were amazed by the first ballet to have cubist costumes, sets, and choreography.
After World War I, Picasso made a number of important relationships with figures associated with Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. In the summer of 1918, Picasso married Olga Khokhlova, a ballerina with the troupe, for whom Picasso was designing the ballet, Parade, in Rome; and they spent their honeymoon in the villa near Biarritz of the glamorous Chilean art patron Eugenia Errázuriz. During the same period that Picasso collaborated with Diaghilev’s troup, he and Igor Stravinsky collaborated on Pulcinella in 1920.
- (Rothschild 49)
- Rothschild, Deborah Menaker. Picasso's Parade: From the Streets to Stage. London: Sotheby’s Publication, 1991.
- Cocteau, Jean. Journal of Jean Cocteau. N.p.: Criterion Books, Inc., 1956