Review: Madame Picasso by Anne Girard.


When Eva Gouel moves to Paris from the countryside, she is full of ambition and dreams of stardom. Though young and inexperienced, she manages to find work as a costumer at the famous Moulin Rouge, and it is here that she first catches the attention of Pablo Picasso, a rising star in the art world.

A brilliant but eccentric artist, Picasso sets his sights on Eva, and Eva can’t help but be drawn into his web. But what starts as a torrid affair soon evolves into what will become the first great love of Picasso’s life.

With sparkling insight and passion, Madame Picasso introduces us to a dazzling heroine, taking us from the salon of Gertrude Stein to the glamorous Moulin Rouge and inside the studio and heart of one of the most enigmatic and iconic artists of the twentieth century.


My thoughts:

Set in Paris during the early nineties, Madame Picasso traces Eva Gouel’s(a.k.a Marcelle Humbert) life from the moment she leaves her hometown and moves to Paris where she works as a seamstress at the famous Moulin Rouge until she becomes Madame Picasso.

“I am Marcelle.”

“And I am Picasso.”

“Yes, I know,” she said, smiling awkwardly at her own response.”

“But did you know also, mademoiselle, that I am going to paint you?”


Out of all the women in his life, Eva Gouel is the most elusive one.There’s not much written about her and this is why Madame Picasso is a very compelling story. Although Picasso have never painted Eva, a number of his works contained the words Jaime Eva. Or Jolie Eva. Ma Jolie.


A collage of shapes and warm colors came together like sweet music on the canvas. She marveled at how whimsical the painting was, and yet how sensual. It was another moment before she saw the inscription. Three small words that defined the canvas were painted into it. Jaime Eva. I love you Eva.

“Ma Jolie” Paris, winter 1911-12

The book sheds light not only on Picasso’s love life but his many friends as well and you get to know Picasso the man not the myth. I quite enjoyed reading about Guillaume Apollinaire, and Max Jacob. Highly recommended for those interested in art history, Picasso’s life and historical romance! Original and Compelling.

Madame Picasso around the web:

Buy: AmazonBookdepository


Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin MIRA for the advanced copy!

Publication: 26/08/14 by Harlequin


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