Apollinaire, Guillaume

BORN 31 Aug 1880, Roma, Lazio - DIED 9 Nov 1918, Paris: Boulevard Saint-Germain
BIRTH NAME Kotrowitski, Wilhelm Appolinaris de
CAUSE OF DEATH spanish flu
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Père Lachaise, Rue du Repos 16 (division 86)

Guillaume tried to keep his origin a secret, but he was born in Rome as the illegitimate son of Angelica de Kostrowitzky, an aristocratic woman from Poland, who was an ardent gambler. He was educated in Monaco, Cannes and Nice, assuming an identity as a prince from Russia.

Around 1900 he settled in Paris, where he worked for a bank and contributed to magazines like "La Revue Blanche" and "Mercure the France", before starting his own magazine "Le Festin d'Esope". The painter Marie Laurencin became his mistress and he befriended Picasso and Derain. In 1901-1902 he worked as a tutor in Germany.

Back in France he supported modern painting and arranged the first meeting between Picasso and Braque. In 1909 he published his first prose work, "Lénchanteur pourissant", illustrated by Derain.

In September 1911 he was imprisoned for a week because he was suspected of stealing the Mona Lisa. He was innocent. His volume of poetry "Alcools" attracted attention when it was published in 1913. He published a book on cubism, but immediately afterwards he switched to Orphism, a painting concept invented by himself.

During the First World War he had affairs with Louise de Coligny-Châtillon (an aristocratic woman he had met in Nice) and with the schoolteacher Madeleine Pagès. He had entered the army and in 1916 he fought In Champagne. He was wounded at the head and returned to Paris. In 1918 he married Jacqueline Kolb, but he died in the same year of the spanish flu in the epidemic of 1918.

There is a museum dedicated to him in the Abbey of Stavelot, Belgium, where he spent a holiday during the summer of 1899 and had an unhappy affair with a peasant girl named Marije Dubois. His mother was gambling at the casino of Spa at the time.

Related persons
• was a friend of Brancusi, Constantin
• was a friend of Duchamp, Marcel
• was a friend of Goll, Ivan
• was the lover of Laurencin, Marie
• was a friend of Picabia, Francis


The grave of Guillaume Apollinaire at Père Lachaise, Paris.
Picture by Androom (19 Nov 2006)


• Culbertson, Judi & Tom Randall, Permanent Parisians, Robson Books, London, 1991
Guillaume Apollinaire — Wikipédia

Appian, Adolphe

Published: 21 Oct 2007
Last update: 26 Jan 2022