The Museum of Avant-garde

Jean Cocteau

France (1889—1963)
After his father’s death Cocteau moved to Paris, where he got involved in the literary circles. Soon he became well known, publishing two collections of poems and founding the journal Schehezerade. In war time he picked up drawing again and discovered Cubism: Picasso collaborated with him and Satie for Parade. Friend of Apollinaire, he was however fiercely criticised by the Surrealist group and Breton. He wrote Les enfants terrible and Opium: the diary of an addict. Often isolated by his contemporaries, he turned to theatre and wrote several plays. After WWII he focussed again on films and directed The Beauty and the Beast, and completed his Orphic Trilogy.