Jacqueline Lamba is the feminine symbol of the struggle to be a painter. Lesser known as an artist than her friends Dora Maar, Frida Kahlo or Claude Cahun, she resides in books and catalogs as the second wife of André Breton, the “mermaid” who seduced the poet of “La nuit du Tournesol” (“The Night of the Sunflower”). The “scandalously beautiful” muse described in L’Amour Fou (Mad Love), but also the mother of Aube Breton Élléouët.
Beautiful and independent, she would never cease fighting to have her irrevocable need to paint recognized. Even if that meant “favoring” loneliness and isolation. Her “headstrong” character, direct and frank, though never falling into the venomous trappings of Dora Maar, was challenging, and did not lend her any help. Nevertheless, she was a woman of passion and absolute sincerity.
There is nothing “feminine” about Jacqueline Lamba’s painting. This is where she earned her rightful place, one which is not yet recognized.
In a second marriage, she wed sculptor David Hare, with whom she had a son, Merlin. Though he had given her more space to paint at her convenience, the marriage would not last.
N.B.: Her work suffered from several losses or degradations: the paintings left at 42 rue Fontaine in 1940 have “mysteriously” disappeared; she herself destroyed part of the paintings created in New York in the early 1940s following a remark by Roberto Matta who found them very similar to his own.