Photo of María Blanchard teaching
|Born||6 March 1881
|Died||April 5, 1932
María Blanchard (6 March 1881 – 5 April 1932), née María Gutiérrez Cueto, was a Spanish painter.
Blanchard was born on 6 March 1881 in Santander, Spain. She was the daughter of journalist Enrique Gutiérrez Cueto and Concepción Blanchard Santisteban. She was the cousin of Mexican artist Germán Cueto.
While Blanchard's mother was pregnant with her, she was involved in an accident, causing Blanchard to be born with multiple deformities, including a deformed spine. However, further research has shown that her multiple deformities were not caused by the mother's accident.  Blanchard found it difficult to walk and was teased at school and nicknamed "the witch," which caused her emotional pain. Blanchard turned to painting to express her sadness. Her father was a large influence in her life, encouraging her to draw.
In 1903, she moved to Madrid and studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando under Spanish artists such as Emilio Sala and Manuel Benedito. Sala taught Blanchard "precision" and the "exuberant use of colour," which would feature in her early compositions. In 1908, after Blanchard won a third prize for her painting Primeros pasostathe Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes, the Santander government awarded her a grant to support her education in the arts. In 1909, this grant allowed her to continue her artistic education at the Academie Vitti in Paris under Hermenegildo Anglada Camarasa and Kees van Dongen. Here she discovered cubist painting, and was influenced by Jacques Lipchitz and Juan Gris. In 1914, due to the First World War, Blanchard returned to Madrid where she had an exhibition organized by Ramón Gómez de la Serna.
In 1918, after the end of the war, Blanchard moved to Paris, where she would spend the rest of her life. There, she began developing her own style of Cubism, using rich colour and incorporating personal elements. She was close friends with Juan Gris, the Cubist Spanish painter.
In 1920, she exhibited in France and Belgium. After her exhibition at the Salon des Indépendants in 1921, her paintings were in great demand. Due to the adverse economic situation which followed, the collectors withdrew and she was financially supported by the literature enthusiast Frank Flausch (1878–1926) until her death.
Some of Blanchard's most famous paintings included:
Composición cubista (Cubist composition)
Mujer con abanico (Woman with Fan)
Nature morte cubiste (Cubist Still-life)
Blanchard was described by Gris as "[having] talent." Jacques Lipchitz wrote about her, saying that Blanchard "was a sincere artist and her paintings contain a painful sentiment of unusual violence." Diego Rivera described her work as being "pure expression."
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Birnbaum, Paula J. Women Artists in Interwar France: Framing Femininities. Aldershot, Ashgate, 2011.
Madaule, Liliane Caffin. Maria Blanchard 1881-1932 - Catalogue raisonné, Vols. 1 and 2. London: DACS, 1992.
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