Éluard, Paul

BORN 14 Dec 1895, Saint Denis (now Paris) - DIED 18 Nov 1952, Charenton-le-Pont
BIRTH NAME Grindel, Eugène
CAUSE OF DEATH heart attack
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Père Lachaise, Rue du Repos 16 (division 97)

Paul Éluard was a founder of the Surrealist movement. When he was sixteen he suffered from tuberculosis and had to interrupt his education. During a stay at the sanatorium in Davos he met born Elena Ivanovna Diakonova (called Gala), whom he married in 1917. The couple had a daughter, Cécile.

Inspired by Walt Whitman he wrote his first poems and in 1918 he met André Breton and Louis Aragon. When his marriage was in trouble he started to travel. His wife had an affair with Max Ernst between 1922 and 1924. He returned to Paris in 1924 and around his time his tuberculosis returned as well. Gala left him for Salvador Dalí and he divorced her.

In 1934 he married Maria Benz (called Nusch), who had been a model for Man Ray and Picasso. Éluard was part of the French Resistance during the Second World War and this was reflected in his poems. In 1942 he became a member of the Communist Party and after the war he praised Stalin in his writings.

In 1946 Nusch died and inspired by the grief he felt he wrote "Le temps déborde". At the Congress of Peace in Mexico he met Dominique Laure, whom he married in 1951. In 1952 he died from a heart attack. The Communist Party organized the funeral at Père Lachaise and Picasso sat next to Dominique Laure on the occasion. Nusch was buried in section 84 of the same cemetery.

Related persons
• knew Bellmer, Hans
• has a connection with Breton, André
• was a friend of Ernst, Max
• influenced Goll, Ivan


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


• Gilot, Françoice & Carlton Lake, Life With Picasso, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1966
Schriftsteller Lexikon, VEB Bibiographisches Institut Leipzig, Leipig, 1990
Paul Éluard - Wikipedia

Emants, Marcellus

Published: 30 Dec 2007
Last update: 26 Jan 2022