PORTRAIT OF NUSCH ÉLUARD, 1938
By now, Picasso was at the top of his game, having painted two of his most iconic works the year before – Guernica and TheWeepingWoman. Nusch Éluard, meanwhile, was a performer and muse to the Surrealist movement, modelling for the likes of Man Ray, Miró, Magritte and, of course, Picasso, with whom she is said to have had an affair. There is no doubt that she played a crucial role in Surrealism but her beauty was more than skin deep. In a bid to combat depression, she created spectacular collages in the style of the men she inspired, and during the Nazi occupation of France during World War II, she risked her life working for the French Resistance. Her sudden death from a stroke in 1946 aged just 40 devastated many in the art world.