Suzanne Muzard

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Suzanne Muzard
Suzanne Fernande Muzard

(1900-09-26)26 September 1900
Aubervilliers, Paris, France
Died15 January 1992(1992-01-15) (aged 91)
Fitz-James, France
Occupation(s)Prostitute, photographer
Spouse(s)Emmanuel Berl (1928–1936), inter alia

Suzanne Muzard or Musard (1900–1992) was a French prostitute[1] and photographer[2] associated with surrealism.[3][4] The lover of André Breton, she was addressed in Breton's love poems.


Suzanne Fernande Muzard[5] was born on 26 September 1900 in Aubervilliers, a suburb of Paris,[6] into a working-class family.[7] At 18 she was a boarder in a training school, but left to work in the la Ruchette brothel, on the rue de l’Arcade. Whilst working there she fell in love with a young nobleman, but his family forbade him developing a serious relationship with her. After this disappointment she moved to Lyon, where she had friends. Her friends introduced her to a new protector. In about 1924 she returned to the la Ruchette.[7]

After meeting her during a visit to the brothel, the writer Emmanuel Berl fell in love with Muzard[8] and in 1926 he set her up in an apartment.

At the beginning of November 1927, at the Café Cyrano, the rendezvous of the surrealists,[9] Berl introduced Muzard to Andre Breton. It was love at first sight.[10] Breton and Muzard decided to leave Paris and spend a fortnight in the south of France, although she did not want to separate from Berl. Back in Paris in mid-December, Breton added a third part to his novel Nadja, celebrating his new love affair with Muzard.[11] Muzard pressurised Breton to divorce his wife, Simone, which he did.[12] However Muzard ended their affair and married Berl.[13] This caused resentment from Breton and the Surrealists.[14]

The marriage was a tempestuous one. Breton wrote a surrealist poem about Muzard in 1931, L'Union libre (The Free Union).[15] In 1934 she had an affair with Frederic Megret whilst in New Caledonia.[16] On 26 October 1936 Muzard and Berl divorced.[17]

After the divorce, Muzard moved to Tahiti, where she met photographer Jacques Cordonnier. Muzard and Cordonnier married in 1940 and stayed together until Cordonnier died in 1961.

Muzard wrote, under her married name of Cordonnier, an autobiographical essay entitled La passagère insoumise (The Rebellious Wanderer) in 1974.[7]

Muzard died in 1992.[18] Her unfinished memoirs were published in 2004 by Georges Sebbag in André Breton, l'amour-folie: Suzanne, Nadja, Lise, Simone, a book on surrealist women.[7][19]


  1. ^ Jones, Jonathan (16 June 2004). "The surrealists and the first photobooth in Paris". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  2. ^ Tasseau, Vérane (September 2018). "Breton, Simone (née Kahn, also Simone Collinet)". Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  3. ^ Gubern & Hammond 2012, p. 15.
  4. ^ Dominique Rabourdin, 'Suzanne Muzard, 1900–1992', Docsur no. 21 (March 1992).
  5. ^ Morlino 1990, pp. 73.
  6. ^ Breton 1999, p. xxiii.
  7. ^ a b c d Papalas 2017.
  8. ^ Morlino 1990, pp. 73, 74.
  9. ^ "Y a-t-il une vie après le surréalisme ?". L'Humanité (in French). 7 April 2007. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  10. ^ Morlino 1990, p. 77.
  11. ^ Pierre 1983, p. 320.
  12. ^ Polizzotti 2003, pp. 22–23.
  13. ^ Brophy 2003, p. 104.
  14. ^ Morlino 1990, p. 100.
  15. ^ "L'Union libre (André Breton)". (in French). Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  16. ^ Biro 1985, p. 277.
  17. ^ Morlino 1990, p. 231.
  18. ^ "Suzanne Muzard French, 1900–1992". The New York Public Library / Photographers’ Identities Catalog. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  19. ^ Sebbag 2004.


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