Max Jacob signed and dated 'Jean Cocteau/1961' (lower right) and inscribed 'Cocasse et magnifique comme le rêve' (upper third), pencil 26 x 20cm (10 1/4 x 7 7/8in).
EXHIBITED: Paris, Le Salon des Peintres du Spectacle, 1995
Max Jacob (1876-1944) moved from his childhood home in Brittany to Paris and from 1901 lived with Pablo Picasso in an apartment on the Rue Voltaire, amidst a heady artistic set including Apollinaire, Georges Braque, Modigliani and Jean Hugo. A painter, poet and writer, he was an important link between the symbolist and surrealist movements. Despite converting to Christianity in 1914, he led a hedonistic lifestyle, apparently arriving drunk at the funeral of Picasso's lover, Eva Gödel, in 1915 and then attempting to seduce the driver of the hearse. Jacob's Jewish lineage led to his arrest by the Gestapo in February 1944, and he died soon after of pneumonia in the Drancy deportation camp.