Elegant Modernist Woman
1952 Color Lithograph


Jean Cocteau (1889-1963)

Color Lithograph on Paper
22.25"x31.5" framed, 14.75"x22" unframed 

Edition 18/200. Edition lower left and pencil signed lower right. Framed in a restored vintage farmhouse style cedar wood frame using warm white and blue double-matting behind conservation clear glass. Excellent vintage condition.

From the estate of Edyth and Phillip Bassett. 

Darling of the early 20th century art world, French artist, Jean Cocteau was a tour de force, contributing greatly to the trajectory of western art. Poet, writer, playwright, painter, and filmmaker, Cocteau truly embodied the figure of the modernist renaissance man, and ushered in an interdisciplinary approach to art making rarely seen before. Cocteau cut his teeth young, leaving home at 15 and publishing his first book of poems a mere handful of years later. Self-taught, he was greatly influenced by his charmed circle of fellow artists and writers, such as Pablo Picasso, André Gide, Marcel Proust, Amedeo Modigliani, and Man Ray - just to name a few. 

Cocteau would regularly draw his friends and acquaintances, often in a simplified, whimsical and fluid style, largely due to his interest in the aesthetics of cubism, and the emerging psychoanalytic practice of surrealism, which encouraged a form of automatic drawing. However, Cocteau often rejected labeling his drawing practice in such confined terms, stating  “Poets don't draw. They unravel their handwriting and then tie it up again, but differently.” 

He is best-known for his literary and filmic works, such as the novel Les Enfants Terribles (1929) and his critically acclaimed films le Sang d’un poète (Blood of a Poet) (1930), La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and the Beast) (1946), and Orphée (Orpheus) (1949). Cocteau’s work is held in collections of the most prestigious museums around the globe such as the The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. And in 2011, American businessman and Cocteau enthusiast, Severin Wunderman, opened the Jean Cocteau Museum, in Menton, France. 

View The Legends of Modern Art Collection & Read the Bassett Family Story