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Famous Mistress Steps Out From Picasso’s Shadow

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Francoise Gilot and Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso and Francoise Gilot, together in 1952. (Lipnitzki/Roger Viollet/Getty Images)


Young artist Françoise Gilot met Pablo Picasso in a cafe in 1943, when she was 21 and the famed artist, 62. After hearing she was an artist herself, Picasso said, “That is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. Girls who look like you could never be painters.” Throughout their 10-year affair, Picasso remained married to Olga Khokhlova, though he lived with Gilot and even had two children with her.

Last month, German journalist and author Malte Herwig published The Woman Who Says No: Françoise Gilot on Her Life with and Without Pablo Picasso, which features their history together in even greater detail. Buy it here. For more on Gilot and the artist’s relationship, read this feature from The Guardian. Also, watch a video interview with Gilot from her Manhattan art studio below.