Francis Picabia

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Francis Picabia (born François Marie Martínez Picabia, 22 January 1879 – 30 November 1953) was a French painter and poet, associated with both the Dada and Surrealist art movements.

Contents

Biography

Early life

Francis Picabia was born in Paris of a French mother and a Spanish-Cuban father who was an attaché at the Cuban legation in Paris. His mother died of tuberculosis when he was seven. Some sources would have his father as of aristocratic Spanish descent,[1] whereas others consider him of non-aristocratic Spanish descent, from the region of Galicia.[2] Financially independent, Picabia studied under Fernand Cormon and others at the École des Arts Decoratifs in the late 1890s.

In 1894, Picabia financed his stamp collection by copying a collection of Spanish paintings that belonged to his father, switching the originals for the copies, without his father's knowledge, and selling the originals.[1] Fernand Cormon took him into his academy at 104 boulevard de Clichy, where Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec had also studied. From the age of 20, he lived by painting; he subsequently inherited money from his mother.

Métier

In the beginning of his career, from 1903 to 1908, he was influenced by the Impressionist paintings of Alfred Sisley. Little churches, lanes, roofs of Paris, riverbanks, wash houses, lanes, barges—these were his subject matter. Some however, began to question his sincerity and said he copied Sisley, or that his cathedrals looked like Monet, or that he painted like Signac.[3] From 1909, he came under the influence of the cubists and the Golden Section (Section d'Or). The same year, he married Gabrielle Buffet.

Around 1911 he joined the Puteaux Group, which met at the studio of Jacques Villon in the village of Puteaux. There he became friends with artist Marcel Duchamp and close friends with Guillaume Apollinaire. Other group members included Albert Gleizes, Roger de La Fresnaye, Fernand Léger and Jean Metzinger.

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