Dora Maar was born Henriette Théodora Markovitch in Paris, France, on November 22, 1907. Her father was a successful architect, and his job forced Maar and the rest of her family to move to Buenos Aires, Argentina, when Maar was 3 years old. In school, she spoke both Spanish and French fluently, learning to read English texts as well.
In 1926, when she was 19, Maar and her family moved back to Paris, where she enrolled in photography school and then at the Académie Julian. She worked on both painting and photography, but she garnered more attention for the latter. Thusly, by the mid-1930s, she was focusing her energies on photography. (She also shortened her name to Dora Maar during this period).
Maar would experience one of the defining moments of her life in late 1935, when, on the set of the Jean Renoir film Le Crime de Monsieur Lange, she met artist Pablo Picasso.
The first meeting didn’t quite hint at what was to come, but the second, in 1936 at Les Deux Magots, a St.-Germain-des-Prés cafe, led to a lasting romantic affair. Soon after this meeting, Maar moved to an apartment around the corner from Picasso’s studio (though she wasn’t allowed to enter it without an invitation). Between 1936 and 1937, Picasso and Maar collaborated on certain artistic endeavors, and he regularly painted portraits of her, including “Weeping Woman” (1937) and “Dora Maar Seated” (1937). Maar herself became part of the Surrealist movement of the time, which Picasso had spearheaded, and had her first photography exhibition at the Galerie de Beaune in Paris in 1937.
She had bouts with depression, despair, and self criticism. She died in 1997.
(Copied from Artist and Poet Biography)