Jean Cocteau  (French, 1889-1963) 

Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau (French, July 5, 1889–October 11, 1963) was among the best multi-talented artists of the 20th century. He was a novelist, poet, designer, dramatist, filmmaker, artist, and playwright. He started writing at the age of 10, and by age 16, he was already an established poet. Most of his works were influenced by psychoanalysis, Surrealism, the Catholic religion, Cubism, and sometimes opium. During his time, Cocteau was a well-known promoter of unconventional fashion and styles. He was connected to well-known artists as well, including the writer Marcel Proust (French, 1871–1922), Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973), the composer Eric Satie (French 1866–1925), and the director Serge Diaghilev (Russian, 1872–1929).

At the age of 19, Cocteau published La Lampe d'Aladin, his premier compendium of poems. Although he embraced Catholicism at first, he shunned religion entirely in the end. During the First World War, specifically in 1923, he was an ambulance chauffeur on the Belgian facade, where the novel Thomas l'imposteur originated. Some of his very significant works of art were created during the years when he had become addicted to opium. These include Les Enfants terribles (1929) and Orphée (1926). Many other artists believed his most important play is La Machine Infernale (1934). In 1930, he produced his first film, Le Sang d'un poète. In the 1940s, he reverted back to creating films, initially as a screenwriter and finally as a director. This allowed him to produce such acclaimed films as Orphée (1949), La Belle et la Bête (1945), and Le Testament d'Orphée (1960).

Throughout his filmmaking career, Cocteau created around 12 films, each showing a rich element of surreal imagery and symbolism. When it comes to music, Cocteau had a close connection with a group of composers called Les Six. His other collaborations included ballet scenarios for Darius Milhaud (French, 1892–1974) and Erik Satie-Le Boeuf sur le toit (1920), as well as librettos for Milhaud and Igor Stravinsky (Russian, 1882–1971). As an artist, he published several books with vivid illustrations, and worked as a designer.

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Jean Cocteau, Eve


Jean Cocteau

Auction: Apr 27, 2014
Perrin, Royere, Lajeunesse - Versailles Enchères
View Details | entire auction
Jean Cocteau, Vase Printemps


Jean Cocteau
Vase Printemps
Jean Cocteau, Les trois yeux


Jean Cocteau
Les trois yeux
Jean Cocteau, Il Ecoute Le Cor Du Mois De Mars


Jean Cocteau
Il Ecoute Le Cor Du Mois De Mars

Galerie der Moderne Stefan Vogdt
Jean Cocteau, The Bride


Jean Cocteau
The Bride
Denis Bloch Fine Art
Jean Cocteau, Visage


Jean Cocteau

Whitford Fine Art
Jean Cocteau, Man and Woman Chin to Chin


Jean Cocteau
Man and Woman Chin to Chin

Denis Bloch Fine Art
Jean Cocteau, Faun und Nymphe - L' apres midi d' un Faune (Debussy)


Jean Cocteau
Faun und Nymphe - L' apres midi d' un Faune (Debussy)

F.G. Conzen
Jean Cocteau, L'Homme


Jean Cocteau

Jean-Marc & Maude Michali
Past auction results (4692)  View All
Jean Cocteau, Pan


Jean Cocteau
Pan, 1958
partially glazed and painted ceramic plate


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Jean Cocteau, Marin érotique


Jean Cocteau
Marin érotique, 1947
ink on paper laid on paper


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Jean Cocteau, Érotique, deux jeunes hommes


Jean Cocteau
Érotique, deux jeunes hommes, 1950-1952
pencil and grease pencil on paper


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1889   Born: Yvelines, France
1900 - 1904   Attended the Lycée Condorcet in Paris, France, however, left school shortly afterwards to pursue a writing career
1908   Published his first collection of poems, La Lampe d'Aladin(Aladdins Lamp)
Met the famous Russian ballet-impresario Sergei Diaghilev who ran the Ballets Russes
1920   Initiated the magazine "Le Coq", together with Raymond Radiguet
1929   Published hiis most famous novel, Les Enfants Terribles(Children of the Game)
1930   Made the first film, Le Sang d'un poète
1949   Was awarded a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour
1950   Won the Grand Prix at the Venice Film Festival
1955   Became a member of the Académie française and The Royal Academy of Belgium
1963   Died: Milly-la-Forêt, France
2013   The Furnace of the Angels and All'Ambic - MUDAC - Musée de design es d`arts appliques contemporains, Lausanne
The Drawing Project - Frost Art Museum, Miami, FL
sous influences - arts plastiques et psychotropes - La Maison Rouge, Paris
Picasso, Matisse, Chagall u.a. – Künstlerplakate aus der Werkstatt Mourlot - Kunsthalle Bremen, Bremen
2012   Jean Cocteau, unique et multiple - Musée Fabre, Montpellier
Der Nackte Mann - Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz, Linz
nackte männer von 1800 bis heute - Leopold Museum, Vienna
From Picasso to Koons. Artist’s Jewellery - Benaki Museum, Athens
Exquisite Corpses: Drawing and Trasfiguration - MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY
2011   Chaos and Classicism: Art in France, Italy, and Germany, 1918–1936, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
2010   The Surreal Film House and Surreal Competition, Barbican Art Gallery, London, U.K
Jean Cocteau: sur les pas d'un magicien, Palais Lumière, Evian, France(solo)
2009   The Lovers by Jean Cocteau, Cocteau Museum, Menton, France(solo)
Jean Cocteau et la Méditerranée, Palais des Arts, Marseille, France(solo)
2008   Jean Cocteau: The Orphic Trilogy, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA(solo)
Picasso 1917-1937, l'Arlecchino del Arte, Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome, Italy
Cocteau dessine l'Europe, Cosmopolis, Nantes, France
2007   Writer's Brush: Paintings and Drawings by Writers, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, NY
Théâtre, cinéma, music-hall, ballet, Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent, Paris, France
2006   Théâtre de la Mode, Museum of History and Industry, Seattle, WA
Picasso and the Theatre, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Framkfurt, Germany
La main du poète: The Hand of the Poet, Flers Castle Museum, Flers, France
2003   Jean Cocteau: Spanning the Century, Center Pompidou, Paris, France(solo)
Jean Cocteau: Enfant Terrible, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Quebec, Canada(solo)
2001   Jean Cocteau and Spain, Reina Sofia National Museum of Art, Madrid, Spain
Jean Cocteau: "Ils" Angels and Demons, Bunkamura Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan; traveling to: Eki Museum, Kyoto, Japan
2000   Erotic works of Jean Cocteau, Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA(solo)
Jean Cocteau, James Van Dammer Gallery, Brussels, Belgium(solo)
1994   Dance in Cocteau's Era, Serverin Wunderman Museum, Irvine, CA(solo)
  Severin Wunderman Museum, Irvine, CA
Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent, Paris, France
San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, CA
Jean Cocteau Museum, Menton, France
The Cartier Colletion, Paris, France
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
1990    Cocteau, Jean. Souvenir portraits: Paris in the Belle Epoque. New York: Paragon House
1989    Touzot, Jean. Jean Cocteau. Lyon: Manufacture
1984    Peters, Arthur King. Jean Cocteau and the French Scene. New York: Abbeville Press
1977    Evans, Arthur B. Jean Cocteau and his Films of Orphic Identity. Philadelphia: Art Alliance Press