Gabrièle Buffet-Picabia

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Gabrièle Buffet-Picabia
Gabrièle Buffet

21 November 1881
Died7 December 1985(1985-12-07) (aged 104)
art critic
Spouse(s)Francis Picabia

Gabrièle Buffet-Picabia (often spelled Gabrielle Buffet-Picabia), (21 November 1881 – 7 December 1985)[1] was a French art critic and writer, linked to the dada movement. She was the first wife of artist Francis Picabia.


Gabrielle Buffet was the daughter of Alphée Buffet and his wife Laure Hugueteau de Chaillé. She studied music at the Schola Cantorum in Paris with Vincent d'Indy, later in Berlin with Ferruccio Busoni. She grew up with a brother artist who painted in the classical manner (See: classicism), far removed from the visionary works of her future husband[2], the painter Francis Picabia, whom she married in January 1909. Her influence inspired Picabia to compose his paintings as musical pieces.

In Zurich Gabrielle and Francis met Hans Arp and Tristan Tzara. In October 1912, while she was with her mother in the family home of Étival, Picabia rejoined her along with Guillaume Apollinaire and Marcel Duchamp.[3] Apollinaire there completed his poem Zone, which begins the cycle entitled Alcools.

This journey served as an inspiration to Duchamp who wrote four " notes marginales " " Route Jura-Paris " from La Boîte de 1914.[4] Duchamp created a prelude to his work La Mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même. On the basis of the meeting, a book was published with essays on Cubism, Les peintres cubistes, by Apollinaire, financed by Picabia.[5] In the magazine View, Charles Henry Ford describes her as one of the first to write a serious account of 'Duchamphenomena'. [6]

The marriage with Francis Picabia, which gave four children, Laure, Pancho, Jeanine and Vincente, ended in divorce in 1930. From 1941, during the Second World War, she was a member of the French Resistance in Paris, alongside Samuel Beckett, Mary Reynolds, Suzanne Picabia and others.[7]

She died in 1985, well past the age of 104.

In August 2017, Gabriëlle, written by Anne and Claire Berest, was published by Stock[2]. The authors Berest are great-granddaughters of Gabrielle Buffet, and their biography underscores Buffet's decisive influence within avant-garde circles. According to an interview with the Berests (Bibliothèque Médicis, 2017), a second volume of Buffet-Picabia's life may follow.


Selected publications[edit]

  • Impressionnisme musical. In: Section d'Or, Nr. 1, 9. October 1912
  • Modern Art and the public. In: Camera Work, June 1913
  • Musique d’aujourd'hui. In: Les Soirées de Paris [fr], Nr. 22, March 1914
  • Jean Arp, Essay. In: L’Art abstrait, Presses littéraires de France, 1952
  • Aires abstraites. Pierre Cailler Éditeur, Geneva 1957 (foreword by Jean Arp)
  • Picabia, l’inventeur. In: L'Œil, Nr. 18, June 1956
  • DADA. Dichtungen der Gründer. Dada Gedichte von Andre Breton, Gabrielle Buffet, F. Hardekopf, Emmy Hennings, J. van Hoddis, R. Huelsenbeck, Marcel Janco, W. Kandinsky, Francis Picabia, Walter Serner, Ph. Soupault, Tristan Tzara. Peter Schifferli Verlags AG Die Arche, Zürich 1957
  • Rencontres avec Picabia, Apollinaire, Cravan, Duchamp, Arp, Calder. P. Belfond, Paris 1977, ISBN 2-7144-1113-4
  • Gabriëlle, Anne Berest, Claire Berest, Paris, 450p, collection La Bleue, Stock, 2017, ISBN 2234080320



  1. ^ Lebensdaten auf, accessdate 27 March 2017
  2. ^ a b Le Vaillant, Luc (July 2017). "2 soeurs. 3 femmes". Libération (in French): 24.
  3. ^ Gabrièle Buffet-Picabia, Aires abstraites, Pierre Cailler Éditeur, Geneva, 1957
  4. ^ Duchamp du signe, Flammarion, collection " Champs", 1994, (pp. 41–42).
  5. ^ Quoted from the Weblink
  6. ^ Ford, Charles Henri. (1945). View : the modern magazine. OCLC 930071352.
  7. ^ Mary Reynolds Archived 3 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine,, accessdate 27 March 2017

External links[edit]