“Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” oil on canvas by Françoise Gilot, 1999, now part of my art collection
At 21, Françoise met Spanish painter Pablo Picasso and would ultimately raise both their children, Claude and Paloma. Their relationship which lasted from 1944 through 1953 is the subject of a Merchant-Ivory movie, “Surviving Picasso.” The passionate drama tells the story of Françoise, "the only lover of Picasso (played by Anthony Hopkins) who was strong enough to withstand his ferocious cruelty and move on with her life." Eleven years after their separation Françoise wrote “Life with Picasso,” a book that sold over a million copies in dozens of languages. She also authored other books including “Matisse and Picasso: a Friendship in Art.” In 1955, she married Luc Simon but they separated in 1961. Nine years later, Françoise married renowned scientist and polio vaccine pioneer, Dr. Jonas Salk in Paris who died in 1995. At 86, Françoise continues to paint and express her thoughts on nature, time, symbols and signs.