‘Marianne’ is the symbol of the French Republic. She stems from the ancient ‘Goddess of Liberty’ and stands as an allegory of Liberty and Reason. She was first adopted as the national symbol during the period of the French Revolution.
This drawing is a superb example of Jean Cocteau’s understanding of the use of simple line. He exploits line which not only creates form but also, through his masterful sense of how colour and line together create decorative as well as emotional expression, epitomises the manner in which outward simplicity and complexity of inspiration come together.
Cocteau was in many ways the personification of the Renaissance man, an artist whose work extended on the highest level from painting and drawing, to poetry, writing, design for ballet and theatre and film. This diversity is very apparent in every aspect of his art.
This drawing of ‘Marianne’ was in Cocteau’s studio at the time of his death and was bequeathed, along with the whole contents of his studio, to Edouard Dermit who had at first been Cocteau’s lover and was later adopted as Cocteau’s legal son and heir.
This is the very best example we have seen.
Accompanied by a certificate from Mme Annie Guedras, the world accredited expert on works by Cocteau.
The Cocteau Estate. Collection of Edouard Dermit (to whom Cocteau bequeathed the contents of his studio) William Weston Gallery, London