Muses

Jean Cocteau (1889 - 1963)

A dandy-like frivolous figure of Paris' bohemian crowd thanks to his symbolist poems, Jean Cocteau turns himself to the avant-garde – 'burning alive to better return ' - after meeting Serge Diaghilev, in 1910. He thus collaborates with the Ballets Russes with such pieces as Parade, in 1917 and is a member of the Dada movement. From the 1920s, Jean Cocteau publishes several novels such as Les Enfants Terribles, in 1929 and creates successful stage productions such as Le Bel Indifférent, starring Edith Piaf, in 1940 and legendary films such as Le Sang d'un Poète, in 1930 and the fantastic La Belle et la Bête, in 1945. Surely fueled by the dramas such as his father’s suicide he had known as a child and his addiction to opium, Jean Cocteau gave birth to a versatile socialite style and a distinctive dark surrealist eclectic work, lightly soothed by his relationship with actor, Jean Marais.

Tags / Jean Cocteau - It Men - Icon - French Author - Art - Poetry - Theatre - Avant Garde - 1940s
Jean Cocteau Self portrait, 1919
Jean Cocteau Self portrait, 1919
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Philippe Halsman, 1949 © Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Philippe Halsman, 1949 © Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos
Jean Cocteau creates A Painting Comes to Life with model Leo Coleman by Philippe Halsman, 1949 © Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos
Jean Cocteau creates A Painting Comes to Life with model Leo Coleman by Philippe Halsman, 1949 © Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos
Portrait of Jean Cocteau Orphée by Philippe Halsman, 1949 © Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos
Portrait of Jean Cocteau Orphée by Philippe Halsman, 1949 © Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos
Jean Cocteau with actress Ricki Soma and dancer Leo Coleman by Philippe Halsman, 1949 © Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos
Jean Cocteau with actress Ricki Soma and dancer Leo Coleman by Philippe Halsman, 1949 © Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos
Portrait of Jean Cocteau Orpheus by Philippe Halsman, 1949 © Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos
Portrait of Jean Cocteau Orpheus by Philippe Halsman, 1949 © Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos
Portrait of Jean Cocteau Dream of a poet by Philippe Halsman, 1949 © Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos
Portrait of Jean Cocteau Dream of a poet by Philippe Halsman, 1949 © Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Philippe Halsman, 1949 © Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Philippe Halsman, 1949 © Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos
Portrait of Jean Cocteau Anatomy by Philippe Halsman, 1949 © Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos
Portrait of Jean Cocteau Anatomy by Philippe Halsman, 1949 © Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos
Portrait of Jean Cocteau Dream of a poet by Philippe Halsman, 1949 © Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos
Portrait of Jean Cocteau Dream of a poet by Philippe Halsman, 1949 © Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Sam Levin, 1950's
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Sam Levin, 1950's
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Sam Levin, 1950's
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Sam Levin, 1950's
André Gide read La femme 100 tëtes by Max Ernst with Max Ernst, Georges Auric and Marie-Laure de Noailles, 1920's. Photo by Marc Allegret
André Gide read La femme 100 tëtes by Max Ernst with Max Ernst, Georges Auric and Marie-Laure de Noailles, 1920's. Photo by Marc Allegret
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Man Ray, 1928
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Man Ray, 1928
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Man Ray, 1924
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Man Ray, 1924
Manuel Ortiz de Zarate, Moïse Kisling, Max Jacob, Pâquerette et Picasso, 1916. Photo by Jean Cocteau
Manuel Ortiz de Zarate, Moïse Kisling, Max Jacob, Pâquerette et Picasso, 1916. Photo by Jean Cocteau
Pablo Picasso, son Claude and Jean Cocteau at a bullfight, Vallauris, France, 1955. Photo by Brian Brake
Pablo Picasso, son Claude and Jean Cocteau at a bullfight, Vallauris, France, 1955. Photo by Brian Brake
Jean Cocteau and Picasso with the piano designed by the former at the Anchorena's. 1943
Jean Cocteau and Picasso with the piano designed by the former at the Anchorena's. 1943
Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau by André Villers, 1950's
Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau by André Villers, 1950's
Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky and Olga Picasso, 1925
Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky and Olga Picasso, 1925
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by George Hoyningen Huene, 1930's
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by George Hoyningen Huene, 1930's
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Boris Lipnitzki, 1934
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Boris Lipnitzki, 1934
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by André Papillon, 1939
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by André Papillon, 1939
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Luc Fournol, 1960's
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Luc Fournol, 1960's
Portrait of Jean Cocteau in bed with Mask by Berenice Abbott, 1927
Portrait of Jean Cocteau in bed with Mask by Berenice Abbott, 1927
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Irving Penn, 1950's
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Irving Penn, 1950's
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Man Ray, 1924
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Man Ray, 1924
Portrait of Jean Cocteau with Arthur Honegger and Andrée Vaurabourg, 1930
Portrait of Jean Cocteau with Arthur Honegger and Andrée Vaurabourg, 1930
Jean Cocteau by Andy Warhol, 1983
Jean Cocteau by Andy Warhol, 1983
Portrait of Jean Marais for L'aigle à deux têtes directed by Jean Cocteau, 1948. Photo by Raymond Voinquel
Portrait of Jean Marais for L'aigle à deux têtes directed by Jean Cocteau, 1948. Photo by Raymond Voinquel
Jean Cocteau Autoportrait à la veste jaune, 1952, oil on canvas, 65 x 50 cm. Private collectiion
Jean Cocteau Autoportrait à la veste jaune, 1952, oil on canvas, 65 x 50 cm. Private collectiion
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Laure Albin Guillo, 1935
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Laure Albin Guillo, 1935
Jaime Sabartés, Françoise Gilot, Apel. Les Fenosa, Jean Marais, Pierre Reverdy, Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau and Brassaï  in Atelier des Grands-Augustins, Paris, 1944. Photo by Brassaï
Jaime Sabartés, Françoise Gilot, Apel. Les Fenosa, Jean Marais, Pierre Reverdy, Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau and Brassaï in Atelier des Grands-Augustins, Paris, 1944. Photo by Brassaï
Portrait of Jean Cocteau in bed with Mask by Berenice Abbott, 1927
Portrait of Jean Cocteau in bed with Mask by Berenice Abbott, 1927
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Berenice Abbott, 1926
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Berenice Abbott, 1926
Portrait of Jean Cocteau in bed with Mask by Berenice Abbott, 1927
Portrait of Jean Cocteau in bed with Mask by Berenice Abbott, 1927
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Boris Lipnitzki, 1951
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Boris Lipnitzki, 1951
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Boris Lipnitzki, 1934
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Boris Lipnitzki, 1934
Edwige Feuillere and Jean Marais in L'aigle à deux têtes directed by Jean Cocteau, 1948. Photo by Raymond Voinquel
Edwige Feuillere and Jean Marais in L'aigle à deux têtes directed by Jean Cocteau, 1948. Photo by Raymond Voinquel
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Carl Van Vechten, 1949
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Carl Van Vechten, 1949
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Cecil Beaton, 1930's
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Cecil Beaton, 1930's
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Cecil Beaton, 1931
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Cecil Beaton, 1931
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Cecil Beaton, 1938
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Cecil Beaton, 1938
Portrait of Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais, 1944
Portrait of Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais, 1944
Portrait of Jean Cocteau with Sphinx on the set of Testament d'Orphée 1959. Photo by Lucien Clergue
Portrait of Jean Cocteau with Sphinx on the set of Testament d'Orphée 1959. Photo by Lucien Clergue
Portrait of Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais by Cecil Beaton, 1940's
Portrait of Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais by Cecil Beaton, 1940's
Portrait of Jean Cocteau, 1920's
Portrait of Jean Cocteau, 1920's
Portrait of Jean Cocteau and Serge de Diaghilev, 1920's
Portrait of Jean Cocteau and Serge de Diaghilev, 1920's
Portrait of Jean Cocteau, 1930's
Portrait of Jean Cocteau, 1930's
Portrait of Jean Cocteau, 1950's
Portrait of Jean Cocteau, 1950's
Portrait of Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais, 1937
Portrait of Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais, 1937
Jean Cocteau on the set of Testament d'Orphée, 1960
Jean Cocteau on the set of Testament d'Orphée, 1960
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Ernst Hass, Paris, 1952
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Ernst Hass, Paris, 1952
Portrait of Edward G. Robinson and Jean Cocteau, Cannes, 1953
Portrait of Edward G. Robinson and Jean Cocteau, Cannes, 1953
Portrait of Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais, 1939
Portrait of Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais, 1939
Hands of Jean Cocteau by Germaine Krull, 1929
Hands of Jean Cocteau by Germaine Krull, 1929
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Germaine Krull, 1929
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Germaine Krull, 1929
Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau at a bullfight in Vallauris, France, 1956. Photograph by Patrick A. Burns
Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau at a bullfight in Vallauris, France, 1956. Photograph by Patrick A. Burns
Self-portrait by Jean Cocteau for Le Mystère de Jean l’Oiseleur, 1924
Self-portrait by Jean Cocteau for Le Mystère de Jean l’Oiseleur, 1924
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Diego Rivera, 1918
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Diego Rivera, 1918
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Man Ray, 1928
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Man Ray, 1928
Portrait of Jean Cocteau, 1932
Portrait of Jean Cocteau, 1932
Elsa Maxwell and Jean Cocteau, 1948
Elsa Maxwell and Jean Cocteau, 1948
Jean Cocteau with the Groupe des six, Germaine Taillefer, Louis Durey, Georges Auric, Darius Milhaud, Arthur Honegger and Francis Poulenc
Jean Cocteau with the Groupe des six, Germaine Taillefer, Louis Durey, Georges Auric, Darius Milhaud, Arthur Honegger and Francis Poulenc
Portrait of Sylvia Montfort for L'aigle à deux têtes directed by Jean Cocteau, 1948. Photo by Raymond Voinquel
Portrait of Sylvia Montfort for L'aigle à deux têtes directed by Jean Cocteau, 1948. Photo by Raymond Voinquel
Portrait of Jean Cocteau on the set of La Belle et la Bête, 1946
Portrait of Jean Cocteau on the set of La Belle et la Bête, 1946
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Richard Avedon, 1949
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Richard Avedon, 1949
Poster of L'aigle à deux têtes directed by Jean Cocteau, 1948 by Hervé Morvan
Poster of L'aigle à deux têtes directed by Jean Cocteau, 1948 by Hervé Morvan
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Herbert List, 1944
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Herbert List, 1944
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Herbert List, 1944
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Herbert List, 1944
Self-portrait by Jean Cocteau, drawing for the Advocate’s 75th Anniversary issue in 1942.
Self-portrait by Jean Cocteau, drawing for the Advocate’s 75th Anniversary issue in 1942.
Lee Miller in Le sang d'un poète directed by Jean Cocteau, 1932
Lee Miller in Le sang d'un poète directed by Jean Cocteau, 1932
Enrique Rivero and Jean Cocteau on the set of Le sang d'un poète, 1932
Enrique Rivero and Jean Cocteau on the set of Le sang d'un poète, 1932
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Inge Morath, 1958
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Inge Morath, 1958
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Georges Dambie, Biarritz, 1949
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Georges Dambie, Biarritz, 1949
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Inge Morath, 1958
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Inge Morath, 1958
Jean Marais and Jean Cocteau on the set of La Belle et la Bête, 1946
Jean Marais and Jean Cocteau on the set of La Belle et la Bête, 1946
Jean Cocteau and Pablo Picasso by Jacques-Henri Lartigue, 1955
Jean Cocteau and Pablo Picasso by Jacques-Henri Lartigue, 1955
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Rogi André, 1936
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Rogi André, 1936
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Lucien Clergue, 1959
Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Lucien Clergue, 1959
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