Last modified on April 7, 2017, at 20:51

Guillaume Apollinaire

Jean Metzinger, Portrait of Guillaume Apollinaire. 1910.

Guillaume Apollinaire ( 1880 – 1918) was an Italian-born French poet, playwright, novelist, and art critic. Apollinaire made a name for himself in the Paris's bohemian circles. He befriended many avant-garde artists, including Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Robert Delaunay. [1]

In his poetry, Apollinaire enjoyed mixing sensory effects in his language, and he often played with unexpected combinations of words. Apollinaire also experimented with the visual appearance of his poems, using unconventional layouts and typography. He pioneered a type of verse called an "ideogram," which was equally a picture and a poem: the lines of the poem were arranged in the shape of the object it described, such as a heart, a bird or the Eiffel Tower. Ibidem

Among his works: Le bestiaire ou le cortège d’Orphée, 1911, Alcools, 1913, Calligrammes (poetry in which typography and layout adds to the overall effect), 1918, Les Mamelles de Tirésias, play, 1917, Méditations esthétiques. Les peintres cubistes, 1913, on the cubist painters, L'esprit nouveau et les poètes, 1918, Poèmes à Lou, 1955.

See his works in French: Œuvres du poète.

In 1910, Jean Metzinger (1888-1968) painted a portrait of Guillaume Apollinaire.

Surrealism is a word Apollinaire is credited for coining. He also coined "Orphism", Delaunay's new style of Cubism.

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