A man of many trades, Jean Cocteau is nothing if not a kaleidoscopic artist, finding different outlets to work on and having an indelible impact on early 20th century culture. In her 1934 autobiography, A Backward Glance, author Edith Warton described him as a man “to whom every great line of poetry was a sunrise, every sunset the foundation of the Heavenly City”. From a young age, Jean Cocteau was already a writer, poet, and quickly became a novelist, filmmaker, painter, playwright, critic and visual designer. His work was a leading contributor to the surrealist, Dadaist and avant-garde movements which made Cocteau one of the most influential figures of 20th century art.
In the midst of shooting the film adaptation of his novel Les Enfants Terribles (1929) in the late 1940s, Cocteau meets French socialite Francine Weisweiller who invites him to come stay a few days at her villa in Cap Ferrat. The two became very close friends and for the decade that followed, Jean decided to decorate the villa, most notably its walls.