Cocteau's models came from a variety of backgrounds. Some were casual pick-ups, others were lovers and friends. Among those represented here are schoolfriends who influenced his sexual development, as well as two of his most famous lovers - the precocious writer Raymond Radiguet and the actor Jean Marais. Cocteau also drew many of his distinguished contemporaries; included here are candid portraits of Picasso, Stravinsky, Nijinsky, Apollinaire, Sarah Bernhardt, Isadora Duncan and Mistinguett. Highly revealing of Cocteau's search for his own, personal 'truth', these sensitively drawn and haunting works have made a profound influence on our perception of the graphic relations between art and literature. Margaret Crosland, who has previously published a biography of Cocteau, provides an illuminating introduction and a chrology.
Jean Cocteau was born in 1889 and is regarded as one of France's greatest men of letters. A multi-faceted talent, he achieved distinction as a poet, playwright and critic, as well as an artist, illustrator, composer, actor and film-maker. Among his best-known novels are Les Enfants Terribles, The Imposter and The Miscreant. The latter (0 7206 1173 3) is forthcoming from Peter Owen while two other works closely linked with Erotica - Le Livre Blanc (0 7206 1081 8), a semi-autobiographical celebration of homosexuality and Opium (0 7206 0800 7), an account of his drug addiction and cure - are both available in paperback from Peter Owen. A recipient of the Legion d'honneur, Jean Cocteau died in 1963.