Marie Laurencin was an important figure in the Paris avant-garde, producing portraits, paintings, drawings, and prints. She painted and illustrated with pastel colors and curvilinear, arabesque lines. Her subjects were nearly always women, either singly or in groups, posed in dreamlike settings.
While studying at the Academie Humbert in Paris, Laurencin met Georges Braque. In 1907, she exhibited for the first time at the Salon des Independents, the year she met Picasso and the other artists who visited his studio in the Bateau Lavoir in Montparnasse. She had a relationship with the poet Guillaume Apollinaire.
In 1912, she had her first personal show with Robert Delaunay in Paris and took part in the decorations of the Maison Cubiste at the Salon d’Automne. In 1914, she married Otto von Watjen, but they divorced in 1921.
After World War I, she focused on painting portraits of females. She designed costumes and stage scenery for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and for the Comedie Francaise. After World War II, she designed for the Compagnie des Champs-Élysées. She illustrated books, such as Lewis Caroll’s “Alice in Wonderland.”
In 1983, the Musee Marie Laurencin was opened in Japan. It holds 500 of her works and her archive.