This Love

Pablo Picasso in his studio with a sculptural portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter. Photo possibly by Brassaï

 
 

“This love
So violent
So fragile
So tender
So hopeless
This love
Beautiful as the day
And bad as the weather
When the weather is bad
This love so true
This love so beautiful
So happy
So joyous
And so pathetic
Trembling with fear like a child in the dark
And so sure of itself
Like a tranquil man in the middle of the night
This love that made others afraid
That made them speak
That made them go pale
This love intently watched
Because we intently watch it
Run down hurt trampled finished denied forgotten
Because we ran it down hurt it trampled
it finished it denied it forgot it
This whole entire love
Still so lively
And so sunny
It’s yours
It’s mine
That which has been
This always new thing
And which hasn’t changed
As true as a plant
As trembling as a bird
As warm as live as summer
We can both of us
Come and go
We can forget
And then go back to sleep
Wake up suffer grow old
Go back to sleep again
Awake smile and laugh
And feel younger
Our love stays there
Stubborn as an ass
Lively as desire
Cruel as memory
Foolish as regrets
Tender as remembrance
Cold as marble
Beautiful as day
Fragile as a child
It watches us, smiling
And it speaks to us without saying a word
And me I listen to it, trembling
And I cry out
I cry out for you
I cry out for me
I beg you
For you for me for all who love each other
And who loved each other
Yes I cry out to it
For you for me and for all the others
That I don’t know
Stay there
There where you are
There where you were in the past
Stay there
Don’t move
Don’t go away
We who loved each other
We’ve forgotten you
Don’t forget us
We had only you on the earth
Don’t let us become cold
Always so much farther away
And anywhere
Give us a sign of life
Much later on a dark night
In the forest of memory
Appear suddenly
Hold your hand out to us
And save us”

 Jacques Prévert

French title: Cet amour

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Radiant in White

Woman’s Head (Marie-Thérèse) by Pablo Picasso. Brassaï, 1932. Photograph taken at Picasso’s sculpture workshop in Boisgeloup.

 
 

The photographer Brassaï visited Pablo Picasso’s studio in 1933 and commented on the classical and undulating character of the majority of works he found there: “He opened the door to one of those immense naves, and we could see, radiant in white, a city of sculptures… I was astonished by the roundness of all these forms. A new woman had entered Picasso’s life: Marie-Thérèse Walter

Passion for Birds

Henri Matisse planning with a bird in his flat, 132, boulevard du Montparnasse, circa 1934, by Brassaï

 
 

Portrait of Henri Matisse, Nice, 1943 by Roger Schall

 
 

Henri Matisse’s studio at villa Le Rêve, Vence, by Henri Cartier-Bresson, February 1944

 
 

Henri Matisse’s passion for birds (and especially doves) began during the summer of 1936. Back in Paris and strolling along the banks of the river Seine, his attention was drawn to the merchants selling a variety of caged song birds and doves. He’d returned home with five or six birds at a time and delighted in their shapes and colors, plumage and singing. His love of birds lasted the rest of his life. Nearing the end of his day, Matisse gave Pablo Picasso, who loved birds and had canaries and pigeons of his own, the last of his fancy pigeons. Picasso drew its portrait on the famous poster, Dove of Peace.