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Jean Cocteau's drawings

Cette semaine, découvrez un dessin signé et dédicacé par Jean Cocteau [En savoir plus]

Jean Cocteau made many drawings. Centaur, falcon, bathers, ephebes or even mythological characters: his works on paper are recognizable by their refined and poetic style and their reference to ancestral myths. This week, discover a work of a knight with a falcon made in the style of the decorations made for the Saint-Pierre Chapel in Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Jean COCTEAU (1889-1963)
The falconer , 1956
Dedicated, signed and dated drawing (1956)

This autographed drawing is a rare testimony to the art of Jean Cocteau because it combines two distinct works. The knight with the falcon or the falconer is directly inspired by the Arthurian legend and the Knights of the Round Table , a play which he began writing in 1932 and performed for the first time in 1937. Regarding this drawing completed in 1956, Jean Cocteau was probably inspired by the works created for the chapel of Saint-Pierre and Villefranche-sur-Mer which he completed in 1957 and more particularly by the stained glass windows. A knight wearing a shield decorated with a falcon is also represented inside the building. Some historians see in the falcon a representation of the Egyptian god Horus or the Roman emblem. Others see it as a symbol of masonry of which Cocteau would have shared certain ideas.

This drawing bears a dedication at the top right: " To Madame Bondanini and Robert Rey with the best wishes from Jean Cocteau Noël 1958 ". Robert Rey was an art historian and friend of Henri Matisse, François Pompon, André Dunoyer de Segonzac, Maurice Utrillo.

On the art market, Jean Cocteau's drawings enjoy a stable price. Designs bearing an annotation, accompanied by an autograph text or dedication may fetch higher prices.

Biography of Jean Cocteau

Jean Cocteau has always insisted on the fact that he was above all a poet. A multifaceted artist, he has experimented with drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics and even tapestry. Playwright, he wrote, produced plays, actor, he also directed several films.

In 1909, he met with great success in literary circles, introduced in particular by Édouard De Max. He published La Lampe d'Aladin , his first collection of poems, as well as articles and drawings in the review Comœdia. In 1913, he met the prestigious Serge de Diaghilev, director of the Ballets Russes for the creation of the Rite of Spring (Stravinsky). He works with Picasso, Modigliani, Max Jacob, Apollinaire, Érik Satie, Blaise Cendrars, Aragon, Tzara or André Gide in all forms of artistic expression.

Anxious to express his modernity in all media, Jean Cocteau takes to the big screen to continue to express his overflowing creativity. His first essay The Blood of the Poet in 1931 was financed by the patron, the Vicomte de Noailles. Beauty and the Beast , Les Enfants Terribles or the Testament of Orpheus are emblematic works. Jean Cocteau died on October 11, 1963 in Milly-la-Forêt.

Notre sélection d'oeuvres de Jean Cocteau