Muses

Colette (1873 - 1954)

Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette is brought up by intellectual parents and more particularly by an avant-garde feminist mother. Colette marries in 1893, Henry Gauthier-Villars, nicknamed Willy, who is an influent musical critic and author. Introduced to the artistic Parisian society, she soon demonstrates her skills for writing and becomes her husband's ghost-writer; soon, under his very own name, are published all her childhood souvenirs in the charming Claudine series. From 1906 to 1912, after she has divorced from Willy, she becomes a famed music-hall artist and presents oriental and sexy pantomimes. Living a free existence, engaging romantic affairs with both sexes, she marries her second husband, Henry de Jouvenel, the editor in chief of Le Matin, in 1912 and delivers several articles to the newspaper. During the 1920s, Colette publishes many novels (under her name), most inspired by her private life, such as Le Blé en Herbe and Chéri and the author settles in Saint-Tropez. Following the war, she becomes a notorious figure and, in 1945, she enters the Académie Goncourt before presiding the institution, in 1949. Mastering the art of publicity, Colette was the model for many photographers and in 1952, was the heroine of her own film, a documentary dedicated to her by Yannick Bellon. In 1958, following her death, her fame reached its peak when a charming beginner named Audrey Hepburn gave life to Colette's Gigi.

Colette, 1932
Colette, 1932
Colette by André Kertész, 1930
Colette by André Kertész, 1930
Colette by Henri Manuel, 1900s
Colette by Henri Manuel, 1900s
Colette by Boris Lipnitzki, ca. 1950
Colette by Boris Lipnitzki, ca. 1950
Edwige Feuillere and Colette, 1954
Edwige Feuillere and Colette, 1954
Colette, 1906
Colette, 1906
Colette, 1900s
Colette, 1900s
Colette by Edward Steichen, ca. 1935
Colette by Edward Steichen, ca. 1935
Colette by Henri Manuel, ca. 1909
Colette by Henri Manuel, ca. 1909
Colette, late 1930s
Colette, late 1930s
Colette on the stage of La Chair, 1908
Colette on the stage of La Chair, 1908
Colette on the stage of La Chair, 1908
Colette on the stage of La Chair, 1908
Colette, 1900s
Colette, 1900s
Audrey Hepburn and Colette, 1951
Audrey Hepburn and Colette, 1951
Colette by Leopold Reutlingerin on the stage of Rêve d'Égypte, 1907
Colette by Leopold Reutlingerin on the stage of Rêve d'Égypte, 1907
Colette by André Kertész, 1930
Colette by André Kertész, 1930
Colette by André Kertész, 1930
Colette by André Kertész, 1930
Colette by André Kertész, 1930
Colette by André Kertész, 1930
Colette by André Kertész, 1930
Colette by André Kertész, 1930
Colette by André Kertész, 1930
Colette by André Kertész, 1930
Colette by Pierre Jahan, 1941
Colette by Pierre Jahan, 1941
Colette by Robert Doisneau, 1950
Colette by Robert Doisneau, 1950
Colette, late 1930
Colette, late 1930
Colette by André Kertész, 1930
Colette by André Kertész, 1930
Colette on her 80th birthday, 1953
Colette on her 80th birthday, 1953
Colette and Edith Piaf by Robert Cogen, ca. 1950
Colette and Edith Piaf by Robert Cogen, ca. 1950
Colette, late 1890s
Colette, late 1890s
Jean Cocteau and Colette, late 1940s
Jean Cocteau and Colette, late 1940s
Polaire and Colette, 1901
Polaire and Colette, 1901
Colette by Pierre Jahan, 1941
Colette by Pierre Jahan, 1941
Colette and her husband Willy, ca. 1900
Colette and her husband Willy, ca. 1900
Colette, ca. 1949
Colette, ca. 1949
Colette on the stage of Rêve d'Égypte, 1907
Colette on the stage of Rêve d'Égypte, 1907
Colette by Gisèle Freund, 1954
Colette by Gisèle Freund, 1954
Colette by Robert Harlingue, ca. 1906
Colette by Robert Harlingue, ca. 1906
Colette, 1900s
Colette, 1900s
Colette by Albert Harlingue, 1935
Colette by Albert Harlingue, 1935
Colette by Albert Harlingue, 1935
Colette by Albert Harlingue, 1935
Colette and her nurse, Pauline, at her home in the Palais Royal, photographed by Henri Cartier-
Bresson, 1952
Colette and her nurse, Pauline, at her home in the Palais Royal, photographed by Henri Cartier- Bresson, 1952
Jean Cocteau and Colette at the Jardin du Palais Royal, photographed by Serge Lido, 1947
Jean Cocteau and Colette at the Jardin du Palais Royal, photographed by Serge Lido, 1947
Jean Cocteau and Colette at the Jardin du Palais Royal, photographed by Serge Lido, 1947
Jean Cocteau and Colette at the Jardin du Palais Royal, photographed by Serge Lido, 1947
Colette at 5, 1878
Colette at 5, 1878
Colette, 1909
Colette, 1909
Colette by Herbert List, 1949
Colette by Herbert List, 1949
Colette by Herbert List, 1949
Colette by Herbert List, 1949
Colette by Herbert List, 1949
Colette by Herbert List, 1949
Colette by Herbert List, 1949
Colette by Herbert List, 1949
Colette by Herbert List, 1949
Colette by Herbert List, 1949
Colette, 1910s
Colette, 1910s
Colette and her husband Willy, 1902
Colette and her husband Willy, 1902
Colette at the Palais Royal Gardens in Paris, photographed by Robert Doisneau, 1953
Colette at the Palais Royal Gardens in Paris, photographed by Robert Doisneau, 1953
Colette by Irving Penn, 1951
Colette by Irving Penn, 1951
Jean Cocteau discusses his portrait of Colette with Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1957
Jean Cocteau discusses his portrait of Colette with Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1957
Colette on the stage of Le Petit Faun, 1906
Colette on the stage of Le Petit Faun, 1906
Colette on the stage of Le Petit Faun, 1906
Colette on the stage of Le Petit Faun, 1906
Colette by André Kertész, 1930
Colette by André Kertész, 1930
Colette by André Kertész, 1930
Colette by André Kertész, 1930
Colette by André Kertész, 1930
Colette by André Kertész, 1930
Colette, 1940s
Colette, 1940s
Colette by Henri Manuel, ca. 1935
Colette by Henri Manuel, ca. 1935
Colette and Members of the Goncourt Academy, 1949
Colette and Members of the Goncourt Academy, 1949
Colette, 1940s
Colette, 1940s
Rene Moatti and Colette, 1953
Rene Moatti and Colette, 1953
Colette, 1890s
Colette, 1890s
Colette by Pierre Jahan Colette, 1941
Colette by Pierre Jahan Colette, 1941
Colette on the stage of L’Oiseau de nuit, 1911
Colette on the stage of L’Oiseau de nuit, 1911
Colette, late 1980s
Colette, late 1980s
Colette on board the S.S. Normandie, 1935
Colette on board the S.S. Normandie, 1935
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