“Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time. Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time.”
Jean Cocteau (1889 – 1963)
Jean Cocteau was a French artist, filmmaker, writer, designer and playwright. Hew as born July 5, 1889, in Maisons-Laffitte, near Paris, to a socially prominent family. Age nine however Jean Cocteau’s father, Georges, committed suicide leaving him to be raised with his two older siblings by his mother and grandfather.
Jean Cocteau’s early academic life was also somewhat eventful. He began a physical relationship with schoolmate Pierre Dargelos while at school at the Lycee de Condorcet, has his poetry performed by well known actor Edouard de Max at 18 and his first book of poems, Aladdin’s Lamp followed shortly after at age 19.
When living in paris Jean Cocteau was part of a circle of cultural and artistic figures including Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, and Guillaume Apollinaire. His output of work was similarly impressive and diverse including writing, staging ballets and films as well as visual work such as illustrations and poster designs for the Ballets Russe.
After a long and prolific career Jean Cocteau was inducted into the Academie Française, in 1955. He died 8 years later in 1963 at his chateau in Milly-la-Forêt, France.