Ladies...artists fucking hate you. Read on for details.
Artists who made really lousy husbands
Indiscretion: Cheated on his wife while on her deathbed; had his mistress arrested.
By Rembrandt's late twenties, he was already a relatively popular artist and was making quite a good living for himself. However, when he married the wealthy heiress, Saskia van Uylenburgh in June of 1634, Rembrandt expected his finances to take a substantial turn for the better. They didâ�¦for a while until Rembrandt's in-laws accused the painter of excessive splurging and took legal action to pull back his spending before he wiped out their daughter completely.
Needless to say, Saskia's parents were not fans of the painter and Rembrandt did very little to get back in their good graces. While still on the outs with his in-laws, Saskia fell ill after giving birth to their only surviving child, Titus. Unable to nurse, the couple hired a wet nurse, Geertje Dircx, to care for Titus until Saskia recovered. Unfortunately, Saskia only got worse and in her deathly ill state, Rembrandt felt it was a good time to begin an affair with Geerje.
After his wife's death, Rembrandt carried on his relationship with Geerje in secret for over six years. The painter kept the relationship clandestine to prevent any difficulties in receiving his wife's inheritance, but understandably, Geerje became impatient and increasingly hostile toward Rembrandt and his refusal to legitimate their relationship.
She began acting out in public, accusing Rembrandt of being a money hungry philanderer. She revealed to anyone that would listen, the couple's sordid love affair as Rembrandt's wife lay dying in the other room and his refusal to marry her out of fear of losing Saskia's precious inheritance.
Given the situation, one might advise Rembrandt to, you know, lay low. However, instead, he began another relationship with a woman twenty years his junior, Hendrickje Stoffels. Upon learning this, Geerje became enraged. She sued Rembrandt, claiming he promised to marry her and pawned Saskia's jewelry to pay for the legal costs. Although, furious that Geerje would sell his dead wife's jewelry, Rembrandt knew he had to keep this whole scandal under wraps; if Saskia's parents got wind of this, his inheritance would be gone for sure. He tried to settle with Geerje out of court, offering her a yearly stipend to keep her mouth shut. Geerje got greedy however, wanting not only more money, but to publicly humiliate her ex-lover. Geerje actually won the breach of promise suit and Rembrandt was ordered to pay her a monthly stipend he could in no way afford. Ultimately, Geerje's greed would turn fatal as Rembrandt was still well connected; he conspired to have Geerje committed under the grounds that she was delusional. She was sentenced to 12 years but after contracting a terminal disease in the insane asylum, she was released after 5 and died a year later.
Unfortunately for Rembrandt, Saskia's parents were on to him. They began a legal campaign against the painter, wanting all van Uylenburgh money paid back to the family. They even managed to have Rembrandt's second mistress, Hendrickje, arrested and charged with living in sin. Due to the battery of legal costs, Rembrandt, despite his efforts, died heavily in debt.
Indiscretion: Probably killed his wife.
Carle Andre, the famous minimalist artist, married the equally well known performance artist, Ana Mendieta in early 1985. They had a tumultuous relationship from the start and many of their friends were surprised by the sudden union. Their major disagreement? Andre was selling his work for unheard of prices, making him very wealthy as well as earning him a place in the New York City elite. His social circle included famous celebrities, musicians, and fellow artists such as Andy Warhol and Donald Judd. However, Mendieta considered Andre's work as too simple and uninvolved and his lifestyle too excessive. Also, being an exile from Castro's Cuban regime, Mendieta used her art to convey her feelings of abandonment and longing for her homeland. She believed art should be an expression of one's inner struggle, accessible to everyone, not just for those who can afford it.
The couple was known for bickering in public while intoxicated and their relationship remained contentious until their final argument on September 8th 1985.
The 911 call went like this: In the early morning hours, Andre called police saying, "What happened was we had...my wife is an artist...and we had a quarrel about the fact that I was more, uh, exposed to the public than she was, and she went to the bedroom and I went after her and she went out the window." (Um, is anyone wondering when the fuck he's going to mention his wife's body resembles a smashed pumpkin on the sidewalk? Could be important...you know, she might need an ambulance.)
So, let's get this straight; according to Andre, he and his wife were arguing about who was more famous and in some epic realization of her inadequacy, Mendieta hurled herself out the window. Okay, maybe, but when police arrived, the couple's apartment was in complete disarray, evidence of a struggle, and Andre's neck and face were covered in scratches. Also, the doorman below recalled that before Mendieta fell to her death, he heard a woman screaming, "No, no, no, no!"
Andre was subsequently arrested and charged with Mendieta's murder. His trial served to polarize the New York art community between those who were outraged by Mendieta's tragic death, wanting a confession and some expression of remorse from the artist, and those who staunchly supported Andre despite the overwhelming evidence. Sadly however, Andre's innocence seemed inconsequential to his defenders who believed that losing one of New York's most brilliant and respected artists, would be far more of a tragedy.
Ultimately, due to shoddy police work, much of the evidence against Andre was suppressed and the prosecution was unable to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. The artist was acquitted in 1988.
Indiscretion: Philanderer; drove women to madnessâ�¦and suicide.
Womanizer, insensitive, occasionally violentâ�¦all apply to Picasso. So, why were women so attracted to him? Because women love bad boys and Picasso was the quintessential brooding, irreverent rebel; the leather jacket wearing, motorcycle riding James Dean of the art world, if you will.
Fernande Oliver was Picasso's first love. She was with the artist for nine years and inspired Picasso's Rose Period; a collection of optimistic themed paintings with warm tones, specifically pink. While Fernande was devoted to Picasso, the artist couldn't remain faithful, entertaining several lovers during his time with Fernande. And of course, what's better than a cheating lover, but a jealous, cheating lover? Picasso, probably projecting his guilty conscience on Fernande, would often lock her up in their apartment while he went off with his lovers, alienating her from the outside world, ultimately, causing her to grow more and more dependant on the artist. Eventually, Picasso lost interest in Fernande (because, really, who wants to be with a doormat? Even if, you know, you kinda made her that way) and left her for Eva Gouel, who died shortly after from tuberculosis. Fernande never got over the artist, and revered him until her death as her only true love.
Next came Olga Koklova, a Russian ballet dancer, and soon after their meeting, the couple married. The two had a son, Paulo, and for a few years Picasso embraced the high social standing he had acquired; he was famous by now and the couple enjoyed spending money. Olga in particular, loved expensive restaurants and attending balls, hob knobbing with the Paris elite. However, the pressure of married life, fatherhood, and bourgeois propriety finally caught up with Picasso; he left Olga who ultimately had a nervous breakdown. She was not ready to let go of the lifestyle she had enjoyed and began throwing tantrums in public to re-capture Picasso's attention, (I mean, what man can resist that?) and stalked her husband and his mistresses. Needless to say, Picasso was not amused and began seeing Marie-Therese Walter.
Okay, this is when things start to get kinda sad. Marie-Therese was enamored with Picasso, much like Fernande. She lived with the artist in the South of France and she bore Picasso's first daughter, Maya. Things were going relatively well for the couple; Picasso adored his new daughter and was, you knowâ�¦ fond of Marie-Therese, too. That is, until one fateful afternoon when the beautiful and well know photographer, Dora Maar waltzed into Picasso's studio. The artist fell in love with her immediately and the two began a clandestine affair. This was not good news to Marie-Therese who confronted the couple in Picasso's studio. She gave her lover an ultimatum: either her or Dora. Picasso explained to Marie-Therese that he was quite comfortable with the current situation and that the two women would have to work it out amongst themselves. I wish I could tell you Marie-Therese, disgusted, walked out with her dignity still in tactâ�¦but I can't. The two women began to actually wrestle in front of Picasso who later described the event as, "one of my choicest memories." (Please excuse me while I dry heave.)
The exact outcome of the altercation is unknown, but if this gives you a clue, sadly, Marie-Therese later hanged herself in her garage.
Although Dora and Picasso sustained a nine year relationship, the beautiful photographer didn't fare so well, either. Dora was on the receiving end of Picasso's dark moods and grew increasingly depressed and withdrawn. She was often portrayed in Picasso's work as "The Weeping Woman" and after learning of her lover's next affair with the young, beauty Francoise Gilot, her mental health deteriorated completely. Being the ever well connected, Picasso sent Dora to his famous psychiatrist friend, Jacques Lacan for treatment and later put her up in an apartment in Paris. She became a recluse for the remainder of her life and when family and friends went through her apartment after her death, they found souvenirs from her life with Picasso including several small paintings, love notes, and even a cloth with a brown stain Dora had labeled, "Sang de Picasso" (Picasso's blood).
Moving on, Francoise was 23, gorgeous, and a joyful change of pace to Picasso who by this time was in his 60's. Throughout their ten year relationship, Francoise gave birth to a son and a daughter, and enjoyed her role as Picasso's muse. The relationship didn't last however, due to, you guessed it, yet another affair by Picasso with Jacqueline Roque.
Jacqueline, the last woman in Picasso's life, was with the artist for 20 years until his death in 1973. She was not only his lover and muse, but she devoted her life to Picasso's work and became his secretary and manager. After Picasso's death, Jacqueline lost emotional footing. Her reason for living was gone and after continuous conflicts with Picasso's children over the artist's estate, Jacqueline finally gave up and tragically shot herself.