11th October 2023 by

Jean Cocteau 60th anniversary of his death 11 October

Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau (1889-1963) was a French poet, playwright, novelist, designer, filmmaker, visual artist and critic. One of the foremost creatives of the surrealist, avant-garde, and Dadaist movements, he was one of the most influential figures in early 20th-century art.

In 1917, Cocteau met Picasso. They went to Rome and Cocteau worked with Diaghilev on the ballet Parade.

The death of his close friend novelist Raymond Radiguet in 1923 drove him to use opium. During his recovery from this addiction, Cocteau created some of his most important works – Orphée, Les Enfants Terribles.

In the early 1930s his first film, Blood of a Poet, was released and what some believe to be his greatest play, La Machine Infernale. During the next 15 years, his work lapsed due to his recurring addition to opium. In 1945 Cocteau directed his adaptation of La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and the Beast). In 1959, he made his last film as a director, The Testament of Orpheus.

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