María Blanchard

Santander, 1881-Paris, 1932

María Blanchard, who was from a well-off family, studied painting in Madrid and Paris – in the latter city, under the painters H. Anglada-Camarasa and Kees Van Dongen. After becoming aware of the new avant-garde currents, Blanchard adopted the modern practice in her work and in 1916 settled permanently in Paris, where she continued to participate actively in artistic circles and established close friendships with Diego Rivera, Juan Gris, Angelina Beloff, André Lhotte, and other artists.

She abandoned the classicist figurative style that characterised her initial work, carried out between 1908 and 1913, binding herself firmly to the “new painting” created by Picasso and G. Braque, cubism – a movement that rejected the traditional western form of representation of art – in her synthetic phase, becoming one of the most prominent figures, alongside Juan Gris and Jaques Lipchitz, among other artists. In 1927, her health problems in conjunction with a personal crisis –coinciding moreover with the death of Gris, which affected her – influenced her production, and she moved away from cubism and limited her work to figuration and portrait painting.