It was Maxim Gorki who named her Marevna after a fairy
sea princess. She was the first woman to discover cubism; a painter
who achieved in her work a remarkable blend of pointillism and
structure; a charming, high-spirited, though sometimes audacious,
She came to Paris in 1912, settled in a studio and soon
made a dramatic entry into la Ruche, the beehive of émigré
painters and sculptors. They would haunt the cafés to discuss
the New Art and there try to trade their paintings for food and
drink. They witnessed the dancing, costumes, decor and music of
the Diaghilev ballet with as much enthusiasm as they participated
in the frenzied gaiety of Russian balls. They attended the premiere
of Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps, and during the years of
the First World War, when anti-Cubist and anti-Bolshevik feelings
were high, sought patrons and agents for their work.
She wrote a book, Life with the Painters of La
Ruche, where she tells the story of her life in La Ruche
with Picasso, Braque, Léger, Chagall, Soutine, Modigliani,
Rivera, Dremègne, Matisse, Gorki, Ilya Ehrenburg, Max Jacob
and Jean Cocteau.
Her work is exhibited in many galleries, including
the Guggenheim in New York and the Modern Art Foundation in Geneva.