Jacqueline Lamba

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Jacqueline Lamba Breton (sometimes Jacqueline Lamba or Jacqueline Lamba-Breton; November 17, 1910, Saint-Mandé – July 20, 1993, Rochecorbon) was a French painter, married (1934 – 1943) to André Breton.[1]


Lamba was born in the Paris suburb of St. Mande, on November 17, 1910 (contrary to at least one source she was not American[2]). Her father, José Lamba, died in an automobile accident in 1914, when Lamba was three years old, and her mother, Jane Pinon, died of tuberculosis in 1927.

In 1925, she entered the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs from which she graduated in 1929. Here, she met fellow female surrealist Dora Maar.  Maar said about this, “I was closely linked with Jacqueline. She asked me, “where are those famous surrealists?’ and I told her about cafe de la Place Blanche” Jacqueline the began to frequent the cafe where she would eventually meet Andre Breton, who she would later marry. in a joint ceremony with Paul Eluard and Nusch Éluard. She met Breton for the second time after one of her performances as a nude underwater dancer at the Coliseum on rue Rochechouart. Breton later wrote about this encounter in his book titled, Mad Love.[3] She would continue to frequently appear in the poetry of Breton throughout the rest of their relationship.[1] They had a daughter, Aube Elléouët Breton (fr), but separated in 1943.

While attending the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs she joined the French Communist party. 1926-29, attends and graduates from the Ecole de L'Union Centrale des Arts Decoratifs. Following her mother's death, Lamba moved into a "Home for Young Women," run by nuns, on the Rue de l'Abbaye. During this time she supported herself by doing decorative designs for various department stores.[4]

Lamba participated in the Surrealist Movement between 1934-1947.[5]

A letter she wrote to Maar in June of 1940 after she and Breton fled Paris during the Nazi occupation reveals a lot about her life. In it she writes about having to leave her sister, Huguette, back in Paris, she asks about their other friends, Benjamin Peret and Remedios Varo, and says that they are living on a tiny fisherman's shack “of great impoverished beauty” on the beach of Martigues. [3]

Following her separation from Breton, Lamba married David Hare, an American sculptor. It is claimed she had a sexual affair with fellow artist Frida Kahlo.[citation needed]

For the last five years of her life, Lamba had Alzheimer's disease.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "Jacqueline Lamba Breton Biography (1910-1993)". leninimports.com. Retrieved 2007-10-18. 
  2. ^ "Jacqueline Lamba on Arnet". 
  3. ^ a b Caws, Mary Ann (2000). Picasso's Weeping Woman : The Life and Art of Dora Maar. Little, Brown, and Co. ISBN 9780821226933. 
  4. ^ Lamba, Jacqueline; Grimberg, Salomón; Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center (2001-01-01). Jacqueline Lamba: in spite of everything, spring. East Hampton, N.Y.: Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center. ISBN 0965674215. 
  5. ^ SALOMON GRIMBERG, M.D. "Dallas Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology and the Dallas Museum of Art present "Jacqueline Lamba: A Female Surrealist" -Lecture". Retrieved 2007-10-18.