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Cocteau, Jean

( Famous French poet, novelist, playwright, filmmaker and essayist)

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Biography Cocteau, Jean
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The famous French poet, novelist, playwright, essayist and filmmaker Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) was endowed with exceptional talent as a draftsman and painter. Being always a poet, he has sought throughout the entire creative ways to embody their images not only in word but also in the fine arts.
. Cocteau was born in the town located near Paris, Maisons-Laffitte, in the cultural and art of close family
. Its formation as an artist occurred in the 1910's influenced performances of Russian ballet, music and. Stravinsky, painting P. Mr. Picasso and poetry. Apollinaire,

. Paris first two decades of the XX century was a laboratory for new artistic ideas, where they worked - influencing each other - people from different countries and representatives of different art forms: poets, painters, sculptors, musicians, actors
. And that Cocteau with his diverse talents and sensitivity to all new found inspiration for many artistic endeavors era, especially in the field of theater and music. (Known his role in the formation of "Six" - an association of young musicians opposing impressionism of Debussy.)

. How to schedule Cocteau made at the turn of 1910's and 1920's, when replacing cubism comes back to nature, but on the other, than ever before, the principles
. The purpose of art is now the image is not "visible" and "conceived", and the classical clarity of form embodies not only the power of reason as the beginning of the subconscious and intuitive creativity, and unable to rational analysis of the riddles of existence.

. In the dedication of Picasso, included in released in the early 20-ies album Cocteau drawings, the latter wrote: "Poets do not draw
. They seem to untie the tie of his handwriting and again tied it in another way ". Drawing was for a French artist is like a letter, the paper was transferred not seen in nature, as experienced and sensible. This image is born in the soul, separated from the creator, found flesh with a contour line. All Cocteau's creativity - the search for the "true line" (which in the figurative sense of the word was its purpose and in the literature), conveys the essence of things. In itself this fact for Cocteau was an element of the irrational, hence the similarity of its sinuous contours with the labyrinth.

Particularly successful Cocteau worked in the genre of graphic portraits. For his portrayal of Pablo Picasso, . Igor Stravinsky, . E. Satie, . F. Poulenc, . J. Orica, . Diaghilev, . Nijinsky, . L. Bakst, . R. Radige and other figures of the French and European culture, . which Cocteau was in close creative contacts, . suitable words, . told them about his own literary sketches of the same character: "I am confined to a few strokes, . to outline the silhouette, . grasp habits, . to pin, . a butterfly, . alive, . how it happened for me with the profile Georges Auric, . to whom I gave a similar one point, . marked the eye,
. In his portraits of Cocteau reaches more than superficial resemblance, and passes that you can not send a photograph - the unity of physical and spiritual "self" portrayed. Visual language is compared with the poetic, . it is widely used hyperbole, . metaphors, . grotesque sharpening, . employees not to create caricatures, . and to enhance the expressiveness of images and the embodiment of creative energy and unique individuality of the model.,

. By the beginning of 20-ies also include such a graphic series of French masters as "Memoirs of a Russian ballet," "Memoirs of Toulon," "hot spot"
. The latter is devoted to Parisian cafes of the time, but with all the reliability of domestic realities, accuracy, and types of gestures, we see there is not clipping, as the embodiment of the spirit of the times, the atmosphere of the epoch in which, for Cocteau was something infernal.

. Along with compositions that are in one way or another "memories" of reality, it creates in the 20 years of graphic equivalents of more abstract concepts
. In all such "ideograms" includes elements of humor, irony, grotesque reduction of "high truths, but also the rise of empirical reality to the philosophical level. So, on a piece called "Art" shows Cocteau faithful copy of the foot, like debunking the sublime idea of art and philosophy at the same time emphasize the problem of "Artists and Models". On other pages we see the Sphinx, . frightened dismiss Oedipus, . questioning him solving the mystery of nature ( "Oedipus and the Sphinx"), Antigone, . similar to the bazaar traders, . but it embodies an important idea for Cocteau's revolt against the dogmas and laws ( "Antigone and Creon"); the metamorphosis of life and relationship of all life ( "Wonders of Nature"), or inherent in modern Western civilization, the comic "boiling point in the action of a vacuum" ( "It is disinterested efforts"),
. And in a sheet named "Vacation" happy people gain freedom and ability to swim like fish, and fly like a bird. I must say that along with similar images easily viewed of Cocteau created in the 20 years or more encrypted products.

Since 30-ies this CODED concedes in his work to a more familiar language. Over time, clearly manifests the romantic nature of talent Cocteau, its connection with romanticism of the XIX century. Self-irony, the grotesque replaced free and exciting lyrical impulse, in the images of weird, but organically combine modernity and fairy-mythology. For Cocteau, as well as for other masters of XX century, myths and related culture - not an anachronism, but an expression of deep and enduring foundations of human existence. In his numerous illustrations to his own drama, . prose and poetry (made primarily in color lithography techniques), . in the chart and easel painting, . in works of applied art (such, . in boxes for a tapestry, . created in the 50-ies) mythological characters like "shine" through the modern shell, . giving the image at the same time universal and existential-personal character,
. Among the most important mythological Cocteau - Orpheus, who becomes his symbol of the artist. It is inseparable from nature (in some figures we see him with bull's horns, . which stretched string lyre) and at the same time makes her obey him, . his descent into the underworld represents an appeal to the depths of the subconscious, . and sacrificial death - that "the death of seriously", . in the words of Boris Pasternak, . which requires its makers art.,

. Mifologizm imaginative thinking Cocteau allowed him to work successfully in the later period in the monumental painting of public buildings, private villas and churches
. In an effort, he said, breaking the silence of the walls and teach them to say the artist used the language of a contour line, enriching it with a colorful palette of rich expressiveness. Among the most successful of these works - decoration in 1959, a small Romanesque church in Miyi-la-Foret, a village near Paris, in which Cocteau spent his last years. The church was dedicated to St.. Blaise-healer, according to legend, who was treating lepers herbs growing around. Above the altar, the artist placed the song "Resurrection of Christ, flanked by a large-scale images of angels (which, for Cocteau is owned by art), and the walls painted rising from floor to ceiling with stems of herbs. The lines of this wall herbarium look plastic and truly alive in its simplicity and elegance is impressive color combinations ocher, purple, blue, saffron-yellow and green tones. In geometrised patterns and rich colors of stained glass as if there is a pulsation of cosmic energy, and the whole decor of the church demonstrates the victory of life over death. In the spirit of medieval farces - and in accordance with their own special passion for art and desire to make it visible - Cocteau placed in the interior near the entrance to the chapel of the cat image and shovels, . because the French word "church" - CHAPELLE - sounds like a combination of the words "cat" and "spade" ...,

. In the history of modern art Cocteau artist is inseparable from the critique, the author of brilliant and profound essay on Leonardo da Vinci, Lautrec, Cezanne, Picasso, Modigliani, Utrillo, Chirico and other masters of the past and present.

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