The “Astonishing Works” by 1930s Muse Dora Maar

FROM THE BYGONE

The Surrealist photographer Dora Maar (1907-1997) is better known as Picasso’s dark-haired model, muse and companion in the late 1930s than for her astonishing works, although she was an artist in her own right and was a famous photographer before she met Picasso.

She was born Henriette Theodora Markovitch in Tours, Western France to a Jewish family. Her father, Josip Marković, was a Croat architect, famous for his work in South America; her mother, Julie Voisin, was from Touraine, France. Dora grew up in Argentina.

In 1927, Dora Maar had begun studying painting in Paris, but quickly switched to photography at the École de Photographie de la Ville de Paris. She supported herself in the 1920s and 1930s as a commercial photographer. While still in her twenties, she had managed to make a reputation in Paris for her fashion and advertising photographs. She then moved toward surrealism under the guidance of Paul Éluard, the…

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