Dora Maar was created in Paris, France, on November 22, 1907. When she was 19, she started pursuing the artistic life, studying painting and photography. Her work had started garnering interest when she met Pablo Picasso, and her life would not ever be exactly the same. Dwelling in the shadow of the best artist of her time, Maar endured from self doubt as well as melancholy by means of a nine-year intimate relationship with Picasso. As World War II ravaged Europe, Maar discovered herself left behind by Picasso, and she later suffered a nervous breakdown. Upon retrieval, she pursued art and faith with equal verve until her passing in 1997.
Her dad proved to be a successful architect, and his occupation driven Maar as well as the remainder of her family to move to Buenos Aires, Argentina, when Maar was 3 years old. In school, she spoke both Spanish and French fluently, learning to read English texts at the same time.
In 1926, when she was 19, Maar and her family moved back to Paris, where she registered in photography school after which in the Acadmie Julian. Thusly, by the mid-1930s, she was focusing her energies on photography. (She also shortened her name to Dora Maar during this interval).
The initial assembly did not quite suggest at what was to come, but the second, in 1936 at Les Deux Magots, a St.-Germain-des-Prs cafe, led to a long-term intimate relationship. Shortly next assembly, Maar moved to an apartment nearby from Picasso’s studio (though she was not permitted to enter it without an invitation). Between 1936 and 1937, Picasso and Maar collaborated on specific artistic efforts, and he often painted portraits of her, including “Weeping Woman” (1937) and “Dora Maar Seated” (1937).
Despite her torrid and arty relationship with Picasso as well as the success of her own works, Maar endured spells of despair, melancholy and self criticism—perhaps exacerbated by living in the very big shadow of the guy with whom she was sharing her life. Following the pair split for good, Maar sank deeper into depression and started living a more secluded life.
Maar’s melancholy shortly transformed into a full blown nervous breakdown, and she later got three weeks of electroshock therapy in a psychiatric hospital. From that point, Maar fell beneath the care of psychiatrist Jacques Lacan, with whom she got years of investigation, and slowly started to regain her former self. She recuperated in part by adopting faith (and renouncing all ties to her Surrealist past), finally deciding on the Roman Catholic Church. She’d stay devout until her passing. Maar continued on with her two remaining interests—artwork and faith—until July 16, 1997, when she died at the age of 89 in Paris, France.