In 1956, in Cannes, France, there was a special meeting of two completely different stars – the movie actress, Brigitte Bardot, and the famous artist, Pablo Picasso. The latter had several workshops and a house, Villa La Californie, in this city. LIFE magazine sent photographer Jerome Brierre to capture the meeting.
At that time, he was 74 years old, and she was only 21. The ‘Cubist’ pioneer had a long and successful career as an artist behind him, while Bardot starred in 17 films and was considered a sex symbol.
The actress came to France for the 9th Cannes Film Festival, where a 78-minute documentary film, The Mystery of Picasso by Henri-Georges Clouzot, was presented. Apparently, a young beauty also wanted to figure out some of the secrets of the painter-innovator. Of course, no one knows the exact reason why she decided to visit him, but it seems the actress dreamed of her portrait to be done by Picasso.
Picasso never painted Bardot, but Lydia Corbett, one of Picasso’s frequent models at the time, claimed Bardot saw her at Cannes and adopted her blonde-haired, ponytailed look as her own. It is assumed that he preferred modest, even timid women. Confident in her own irresistibility, the screen star could not inspire him in any way. And she did not inspire him. So, their meeting had no continuation.
At least, there was a dozen of stunning pictures taken during a few hours she was staying at his house.
(Photos by Jerome Brierre/RDA/Getty Images)