The Love Lives of the Artists

Five stories of creative intimacy

As the oldest of institutions, marriage seems outdated in modern times, when each individual is encouraged to break with tradition in order to fulfill himself. And so artists like Diego and Frida seem to be paving the way toward a brave, new kind of marriage, where spouses would be allowed— even encouraged—to fulfill different aspects of themselves in outside relationships. Shared creativity, they believed, would transcend their jealousies and compensate their sufferings: through art, they would rise above conventional marital fidelity, and prove a higher fidelity to art and to themselves.

The Love Lives of the Artists tells the stories of Rilke and Lou Andreas-Salomé, Stieglitz and O'Keeffe, Sartre and Beauvoir, Diego and Frida, and Henry Miller and Anaïs Nin—five couples who approached their relationships with the same rebellious creativity as they practiced in their art. From their early artistic development and their first experiences in love to their artistic marriages and their affairs—and then to their fights and reconiliations, nervous breakdowns and further creativity—Love Lives describes the promise and the price of freedom and creativity in love.

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