Gala Dali and 6 more muses of great artists

As the saying goes, behind every great man is a great woman. If geniuses had not met their muses, then many masterpieces would not have been created. Living with an ordinary man is not so easy, let alone creative people. The wife, companion, friend of a genius is a profession and a heavy burden. After all, great artists think only about creativity, they have no time and no need to delve into everyday problems.

In addition, as a rule, they are people who are fond of, and it is not only about art. And faithful friends patiently wait for their legends, go through both failures and success with them. They instill confidence in the talent of their husbands and create a favorable environment so that nothing distracts geniuses from working on works of art that the whole world will talk about.

Elena Fourman

Second wife of Peter Paul Rubens. After the death of his first wife, Rubens was in a severe depression. He even decided to leave painting and went into politics. But Elena, the sixteen-year-old daughter of an old acquaintance, brought the great artist back to life. To many, this marriage seemed unequal, absurd (Rubens was 53 years old at the time of the meeting with his wife). But contrary to rumors and ridicule, Peter and Elena lived together for 10 happy years, until the death of the artist. The girl gave Rubens 4 children during her lifetime – the youngest daughter was born after the death of the genius.

Elena Fourman

The wife became a real muse for Rubens. All the women in his paintings of the late period have features copied from Helen. The girl appears either in the form of a goddess (the painting “The Judgment of Paris”), then in the form of a mother (“Helen with her son Francois”) and a queen. The artist also painted numerous portraits of his wife.


The well-known expression “Rubens woman”, which became winged, appeared thanks to the young Elena. After all, it is she who is captured in the artist’s candid paintings. “The Rubens Woman” is a young sensual creature endowed with divine features, with delicate, white skin, with magnificent forms, not embarrassed by her beauty – this is his Elena (although after the death of the artist, the girl wanted to destroy the paintings where she appears naked, but Paul’s confessor persuaded her not to do it).

The great painter immortalized the pure and bright image of his wife. A friend of Rubens, the poet Jan Kaspar Gevaerts, spoke of Paul’s last wife as follows: “Helen from Antwerp, who is far superior to Helena from Troy.”

Portrait of Elena Fourman with children

Simonetta Vespucci

Beloved Sandro Botticelli and a tragic figure in the life of the great artist. He was unrequitedly in love with the first beauty of Florence, who gave her heart to another and was not even aware of the strong feeling of the famous Florentine for her.

Portrait of a young woman

The girl died of consumption at the age of 23. Botticelli was never able to love anyone else: he did not marry, and he had no children. Sandro bequeathed to bury himself at the feet of Simonneta. The inhabitants fulfilled his last request: after his death, the artist was finally reunited with the love of his life. Sandro Botticelli suffered greatly after the death of the Florentine beauty and made his Simonnet immortal: almost all of his paintings depict She in the center. Images of Spring, Venus, Madonna, Pravda are copied from the daughter of Vespucci.


Olga Khokhlova

Yes, this is our compatriot – the Russian ballerina of the Diaghilev troupe. There Pablo Picasso met her when he worked as a decorator. The Spanish artist immediately fell in love with the Russian beauty and began to seek her favor. However, Olga had heard a lot about the love of Picasso and did not succumb to his courtship and signs of attention. Pablo realized that only serious intentions would convince the girl of the sincerity of his feelings for her: he offered her a hand and a heart. In addition, the artist was so happy, so in love, that at the conclusion of the marriage contract he insisted that half of his paintings belong to his wife.

Picasso and Khokhlova

Olga Khokhlova was the only wife of Pablo Picasso. Unfortunately, only on paper. After a few years of marriage, Pablo began to cheat on his wife, treat her with rudeness and contempt, and, in the end, Olga left her negligent husband. If the Picasso couple had filed for divorce, then half of the paintings would have gone to the Russian ballerina, but Pablo categorically did not want this.


In the first years of marriage, the artist depicted Olga in his paintings as elegant, refined and noble. Later, the image of the wife began to personify fatigue, despondency and detachment. When their marriage was already nearing collapse, he splashed out all his anger and hatred for his wife in the pictures. Picasso publicly disfigured and humiliated the woman he once loved madly.

Olga in a chair

Olga Khokhlova was sick with cancer. And, being near death, several times asked to bring her husband to her. However, the artist never came to visit his dying wife. At Olga’s funeral, no one noticed Pablo, to whom the Russian ballerina dedicated her life. By the way, the artist’s temperament has repeatedly inspired Hollywood directors to portray his life story in cinema. You will find a film about Picasso and other great artists in our article.

Gala Dali (Elena Dyakonova)

Spanish artists could rarely resist the charm and attraction of Russian women. Gala Dali is probably the most famous of all the muses of geniuses. Salvador Dali idolized his “Galatea” and said that it was thanks to her that he gained worldwide fame and recognition.

Gala and Salvador

Gala Dali was not distinguished by beauty and chastity. It can be called “Liley Brik of the picturesque world.” Gala (Elena) did not recognize jealousy and advocated free love (we suspect that Dali alone was not enough for her). Salvador saw his Gala when he was 25 and she was 36. According to eyewitnesses, he fell in love with her at first sight. Immediately after the wedding, the Dali couple got married. The Russian woman became the main and only muse, wife, mistress and friend of the famous artist.

Gala had a huge influence on El Salvador – he signed the paintings with his own and her name. The couple’s friends called the Russian “Gala Plague”. And the Spaniard adored his wife: he portrayed her in the paintings only as Gradiva. The surrealist could not do without Gala and indulged all her whims (and there were quite a few of them). For example, his adored wife wanted a castle, so that no one except her dared to enter there – please, Dali spared nothing for his beloved.

Gala Dali

To tell the truth, Dali really owed a lot to Gala – she put all his finances in order. The Russian woman made the Salvador Dali brand. Among her many “acquaintances” were influential and wealthy people whom she offered to invest in her husband’s work. “In the morning, El Salvador makes mistakes, and in the afternoon I correct them,” Gala once said.

Camille Donsier

First wife of Claude Monet. “Not a woman, but an angel,” the French impressionist spoke lovingly about his wife. Camille brought Monet good luck and success. It was with the greatest painting “Camilla, or Portrait of a Lady in a Green Dress” that Claude’s popular recognition began. Even before meeting Monet, the girl was one of the most famous models among the Impressionists (for example, she posed for Pierre Renoir and Edouard Manet).

Portrait of Camilla

Despite the huge success of the film…

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