Marilyn Monroe


From 9 February to 2 June 2024

Françoise Gilot, Claude Picasso, Pablo Picasso. Vallauris, September 1949. AGIP, Bridgeman @ Succession Picasso 2024

About the exhibition

L'exhibition PABLO PICASSO, RENDEZ-VOUSThe original version of the exhibition, 100 imaginary letters written by David Lawrence to the greatest painter of the 20th century, is on show at Espace Hôtel de Lagoy.

At weekends, in the courtyard of the Espace Hôtel de Lagoy, the public can listen to a recording of 12 imaginary letters from  Pablo Picasso Rendez-vous,  read by storyteller Jean-Paul Lucet, with his unique voice.

In Room 1 of the exhibition, school groups and the general public can discover the key stages in Pablo Picasso's early years. From his birth in Malaga to the dawn of Cubism

©Yo, Picasso by Pablo Picasso. Oil on canvas. 1901. Reproduction on dibond. Private collection. Succession Picasso 2024. Photo © Fine Art Images / Bridgeman Images.

Françoise Dulac.

Before entering the ring, dressed in his habit of light, embroidered with gold thread, the bullfighter implores the Virgin for her Son, Jesus, to be by his side.
It symbolises light, while the fighting bull represents darkness.
Prayers are whispered in a chapel just a few steps from the runway.
An intimate moment, as much a matter of faith as superstition.
Estar en capilla is Spanish for "to be in chapel". To prepare the spirit to isolate itself from the world, before facing its destiny.
In the chapel of the Nîmes bullring, a bullfighter gave his testimony: "Here, our fears dissipate. We're here, like people shipwrecked by terror. Thanks be to God. He who watches over us.
In 1921, Ernest Hemingway discovered the world of bullfighting.
In Mort dans l'après-midi (Death in the Afternoon), he writes: "The only place where you could see life and death, by which I mean violent death, now that the wars were over, was in the bullring, and I very much wanted to go to Spain, where I could watch them".
From the age of 7, at the Malagueta bullring, Pablo stood at his father's side.
If he applauds each rebolera, he is amazed by the colours and shapes of his new models. Picadors, bullfighters and bulls.
Throughout his life, bullfighting will revive the bond between Pablo and his father.
This reconstruction pays tribute to him.

Templar House would like to thank :

Bullfighter Juan Bautista, for the loan of his suit of lights.

The Madonna of Alba by Raphael. 1511. Oil on wood, reproduction on dibond 2m x 2m. National Gallery of Art, Washington, United States.

Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) in his studio (black & white photograph), Dornac (Paul Francois Arnold Cardon) (1859-1941). Archives Larousse, Paris, France/Bridgeman Images.


On one of the consoles in your studio, I left you some cut flowers. A pot. Made of pewter. Coloured by the azure. Water will be your duty. They mustn't die. They are so beautiful.
Your pretty wife told me you weren't at lunch today. With thick hair. Black. It smelt of cheap soap. I cherished its aroma edged with white lilac.
You can't change that. That's the way life is!
I'm old. Terribly old. I'm going to leave.
You told the others you wanted to paint my portrait. Do it quickly! Before the sad breath of Limoges destroys my carcass, my cap, my brushes. My work.
I keep this murmur to myself: "You come to nature with theories, and this one blows them all to smithereens!
I'm sitting down. Close to the walls that maliciously encircle my mind. I can hear them saying that my life is yawning. But my eyes are those of the little man who left his mother one morning in February 1841.
I can see her today. She's wearing a clean apron and soft shoes.
So as not to amuse the ghosts. I suppose she's trying to buy me time.
I admit it. Leaving the world, my body above the December snow, doesn't really appeal to me.
If I had to choose, Pablo, I'd raise my finger to the church tower. Whispering to him: "May, please. Touch the blood-red fields of poppies once more.
Yes, be quick. The bells remain silent.

Your dear Auguste.


Extract from Lettres Imaginaires by David Lawrence@Maison Templar 2024.


Picasso is the only monster of the twentieth century, and infinite creativity his opulent hunting ground. Without him, the air of the century would taste of abyss, dead-end and fatigue. In the museums of the world, this Other-Man has too many servile servants. Few people, however famous they may have been for a while, dare to write to him as equals, and few dare to call him Pablo, when too many eagerly awaited exhibitions are cutting up his corpse in the tombs of art. When will we see "Picasso and the fishermen of Brittany"? When will we see "Picasso and Korean cuisine"?

Picasso the Countless now lives only in the eternal sharing of love-hate, and in the fraternal exchange of the scattered blood of the soul. He has a perpetual rendezvous with every active human being in the universe. Creators know that the imaginary is truer than reality, because it evokes, without limit or end, the possible and the impossible of destinies assumed. In the realm of dreams of the great emerging artists, singers, poets or dictators, living or dead, the deeply lived life, here richly invented, shatters the prison of convention, and makes an absolute presence, intriguing and delightful.

© Pablo Picasso. Bridgeman Images. @Succession Picasso 2024.

Here, in this open book, the scathing words, in the inspired happiness of the encounter, have made the shadow of pretense disappear, and these letters burnt with intimate destiny, all imagined by the author, or rather invented, delve into the mysterious timelessness of the torments of existence. David Lawrence's approach to the Monster is neither expected nor museum-like. It is literary, and fabulously plural. His incandescent, inventive and transparent writing is equal to the task. It is relentlessly prodigious and unprecedented. We had to dare to rub shoulders with all those who, from near and far, in this life or in some unthinkable other, have been close to Picasso. A sublime challenge. Telluric and vibrant, a groundswell runs through all David Lawrence's powerful words, and each sentence is a jolt.

In his "Lettres imaginaires à Picasso" (Imaginary Letters to Picasso), the author of this mad plurality virtuosically invents an unheard-of pantheon of correspondents who may or may not have been. And yet, by the grace of a miraculous verbal magic, they are very much there, and more than present, in the course of writings that are always tense, at the beating heart of these prodigious epistolary exchanges. No stranger to sometimes dubious antics, or to strokes of genius, and surrounded by love, jealousy, respect and friendship, our monster sails in pure freedom. From the secrets of carnal intimacy to the densest mystical considerations, the passages through Picasso country are endless. With a mental scalpel, between tenderness and cruelty. On the part of the sole author of these exploratory missives, all this requires a staggering global knowledge of art, of Picasso himself, and of the historical lives of all the writers involved (here without their knowledge), from Jean Cocteau to David Bowie, from Gertrude Stein to Joseph Stalin, but also - and the list is impressive - from Ambroise Vollard to Chaïm Soutine, from Winston Churchill to Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, and from Auguste Renoir to Paul Bocuse! Sergei Diaghilev's letter, dated 5 July 1925, is bursting with formal beauty, fine musical references (Satie, Debussy), barely concealed pain and very sensitive tenderness.

With David Lawrence, there is never such a thing as a little! Picasso's world of relationships, explored to the bone, pushes back the limits of these supposed exchanges to the very limits of what can be said. The addition of rare photographs demystifies the uncharted territory of the monster.

Christian Noorbergen.

School groups


  • The following days are reserved for school group visits: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesday mornings and Thursdays - Excluding school holidays and public holidays.

  • For the little ones: mats, coloured pencils and paper are available.

  • The author of 100 imaginary letters, David Lawrence, will be visiting classes to help them choose fifteen or so letters to examine.

Booking is essential:

The subjects covered for the classes are

  • Guernica
  • Hitler and so-called degenerate art from Chagall to Picasso, Matisse to Monet.
  • Paris, the great era of artists : Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh, Degas, Modigliani, Soutine, Foujita, Braque, Picasso, Apollinaire, Cocteau, Breton, Matisse ...
  • Picasso, a child's journey
  • Picasso, Braque, Cubism
  • Picasso and literature

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