By ADRIAN TAHOURDIN
“J’ai tant aimé les arts que je suis artilleur”, Apollinaire wrote in 1916 – I’ve so loved the arts that I’m an artilleryman (a pre-echo perhaps of the Killers’ line “I got soul but I’m not a soldier”?)
Was there a twentieth-century poet more painted than Apollinaire? There are numerous portraits by Picasso – the two men met in 1905 and remained firm friends until the poet’s death at the age of thirty-eight from Spanish flu only a few days before the Armistice in November 1918. Picasso, who had provided a Cubist portrait of the poet for the frontispiece of his collection Alcools (1913), was said to be grief-stricken.