Francoise Gilot – forging an escape route from Picasso

Francoise Gilot, a prolific and acclaimed artist, whose talent was underplayed because of her relationship with Pablo Picasso, has died at 101. Aged 21 in occupied Paris during WW11 she met Picasso, forty years her senior, while he was still married to the Russian dancer Olga Khokhlova and she replaced Doris Maar as his lover and muse. She remained with him for ten years, produced two children, and was the only one of his many mistresses to dump him, saying she loved him but left to prevent herself being destroyed.

   In later years she wrote a memoir about her time with Picasso including descriptions of his physical and emotional abuse. He sued to try to stop publication, though it went on to sell a million. He cut off contact with her and the two children, and tried to stop galleries exhibiting her work. As she was leaving Picasso sneered at her: “You imagine people will be interested in you?” They won’t ever, really, just for yourself. Even if you think people like you, it will only be a kind of curiosity they will have about a person whose life has touched mine so intimately.”

  She eventually moved to the US, marrying twice – including to the US polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk.

  Born 26 November 1921 1am Neuilly sur Seine, France, she had a quick-witted 3rd house Sagittarius Sun which was in an independent-minded square to Uranus. Her influential and controlling 10th house Pluto was in a creative Water Grand Trine to Uranus and Venus Mercury in Scorpio; and her Pluto was also in a fearsome square to Saturn Mars Jupiter and widely square Moon in Libra. She was a curious mix of masochistic and submissive with a suppressed Pluto square Mars – as well as freedom-loving. As she matured and empowered herself quite a force to be reckoned with.  Her Venus Mercury were square Neptune.

Picasso, 25 October 1881 11.15 pm Malaga, Spain,  had a Sagittarius Moon to chime with her Sun, and his Scorpio Sun resonated with her Venus.  But he had a heavyweight, ultra-stubborn chart with a stellium in Taurus in his 10th stretching from Saturn Neptune to a pushily-confident Jupiter Pluto conjunction. His Saturn Neptune was trine Uranus and sextile a 12th house Mars in Cancer.

 Her need not be be bullied and ultimately to stay in control Pluto clashed with his Mars so no surprises there was abuse in their relationship. His Midheaven, Saturn, Neptune fell in her 8th so there would be a deep connection, not easy but initially beyond her conscious power to resist or understand.

  Their relationship chart had a composite New Moon which suggest a connection where each felt more whole when they were together; but the composite Sun was in a power-struggling quincunx to Pluto.  The synastry is more descriptive of their love hate match.

  Two of his other mistresses had fairly similar placings. Doris Maar, 22 November 1907 2.30am Paris and Marie Therese Walter, 13 July 1909 12 noon Le Perreux sur Marne.  

  Both of them had marked Mars Pluto aspects in their charts – used to being dominated and bullied since childhood and unable to escape the old pattern. Both of them had Piscasso’s Taurus stellium falling in their respective 8th houses so an even more anchored-in-the-unconscious bond than Gilot’s.

  Maar had a Fixed Scorpio Sun square Mars in Aquarius which was overwhelmed by his pushy Jupiter Pluto in Taurus; and his Mars fell in her 10th was conjunct her Neptune and opposition her Uranus for a raggedy interface.

 Walter was a Sun Cancer trine Mars with her Mars square Pluto; and a Sun opposition Uranus square Saturn in Aries – highly-strung, low in self-esteem.

  Two things would be a saving grace for Gilot – one was her maverick Mutable Sun square Uranus, which disliked compromise. The other was her Pluto in the 10th, hint of a possessive and controlling mother which would initially make it easy for her to slot into the same kind of submissive relationship but as she matured she would turn it round and become more resistant to being tramped under foot and used as a pawn.  

4 thoughts on “Francoise Gilot – forging an escape route from Picasso

  1. Okay my maths has gone a bit wrong. But 40 years age difference is a lot. Glad she had a happy marriage with Jonas Salk. I remember taking the sugar cube in the early 60s. Evidently I was inocculated twice, as the relative I was staying with didn’t bother to mention it to my parents. And that one was an injection, that I was much too young to remember.

    Jonas Salk was truly a great man. He point blank refused to let the vaccine be patented, in order for the maximum amount of people around the world to be vaccinated.

  2. Never mind that what about the 62 year age difference! In some circles she might be considered a gold digger. I expect they were as bad as each other

  3. Thanks Marjorie. Quite a woman! Picasso’s famous Bull series of lithographs was begun on 12 December, 1945 – early on in their sexual relationship. I noticed that Black Moon Lilith was then at 14 Scorpio, conjunct Francoise’s Venus and Mercury, and opposing Picasso’s 15 Taurus Neptune. Pluto was 11 Leo, beginning to push on those planets, and approaching Francoise’s Neptune at 15 Leo. So in some way Picasso was expressing his powerful Taurus stellium, while Francoise experienced her own Venus/Mercury square Neptune through her relationship with a rather Plutonic Scorpio artist. In true Pluto fashion he had carried her away into his world. Also strongly resonates with the myth of Zeus (Picasso’s Jupiter in Taurus) as a bull, carrying Europa away. And Poseidon (Neptune) sending a bull from the sea to seduce Queen Pasiphae of Crete, who then gives birth to the Minotaur…..

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