Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Jean Cocteau & Jean Marais, famous French couple

Jean Cocteau was a French artist in all possible avenues, willing to excel in everything, from writing poems, fiction, novels, theatre plays, to creating ceramics, drawings, paintings, frescas, as well as designs, sculpture and jewellery. He spent a major part of his life (25 years) with the French actor Jean Marais. Before Jean Marais, he had a strong relationship with the young talented writer Raymond Radiguet (Devel in the Flesh - Le Diable au Corps) and also with Edouard Dermit.

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais at the beach - 1939
Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais - photo by Beaton

Born on July 5, 1889, he died aged 74, on Oct 11, 1963. As well summarized by Wikipedia : ''Jean Cocteau is best known for his novel Les Enfants Terribles (1929), and the films Blood of a Poet (1930), Les Parents Terribles (1948), Beauty and the Beast (1946) and Orpheus (1949). His circle of associates, friends and lovers included Kenneth Anger, Pablo Picasso, Jean Hugo, Jean Marais, Henri Bernstein, Yul Brynner, Marlene Dietrich, Coco Chanel, Erik Satie, Igor Stravinsky, María Félix, Édith Piaf, Panama Al Brown, Colette and Raymond Radiguet.''

Among other honors, Cocteau was made a member of the Academie Française in 1955, and at the Royal Academy in Belgium as well. Below is the picture of Jean Cocteau dressed in his French Academy suit designed by Lanvin, and with his sword designed by himself and handcrafted by Cartier.

Detail of sword handle

 Here are some sculptures, ceramics, potteries and jewellery made by Jean Cocteau.

photo Annick Puvilland
Faun - bronze medallion

Chevre- pied - bronze - 1958

Pecheur de perles - bronze - 1958

And I could not resist to add a few drawings, some from his Livre Blanc (the White book).
Jean Cocteau drawings have often been inspired by sea life, sailors, etc as seen in his Livre Blanc, and other drawings made for Querelle, famous book written by Jean Genet.

Jean Cocteau in Toulon - 1930


Jean Cocteau sculpture of a faun inspired by Jean Marais face

Jean Marais (1913-1988), his lover, after a successful career in movies then theater, became a ceramist and sculptor as well.

Jean Marais photographed by Raymond Voinquel
Here are some works from him. The first serie of pictures shows 'Le Passe Muraille' (Going through walls) life size bronze sculpture displayed in Paris, inspired by the book from Marcel Aymé.

Other sculptures from Jean Marais :      
head of Jean Cocteau sculpted by Jean Marais - bronze

head of Jean Cocteau sculpted by Jean Marais - terra cotta
Le Chantre

Arno Breker, German sculptor who did many males sculptures as we will see in another post, made both heads from Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais, as seen below.

Arno Breker bronze sculpture - 1963 - head of Jean Cocteau

Arno Breker bronze sculpture - 1963 - head of Jean Marais

Some links :

Several videos / documentaries about Jean Cocteau