Lise Deharme: The Lady of the Glove

Lise in 1936 photographed by Man Ray

While thumbing through old issues of Art et Décoration, I came across a feature on the residence of Lise Deharme. I had never heard of her, but the photos of her sumptuous, shall we say "layered" interiors told me this was a woman with a story and a fabulous sense of humor...

Deharme taunting her white Persian cat Charmante

Deharme, née Anne-Marie Hirtz, was a society hostess and a contributor/muse to the Surrealist movement. André Breton nursed an unrequited passion for her and caused her to be called "The Lady of the Glove" after describing a scene in his autobiographical narrative Nadja (1928) in which he imbues much emotion in her potential bequest of a sky blue glove.

Here in her salon, Deharme entertained such art and literary luminaries as Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, Pablo Picasso, Antonin Artaud, and Paul Éluard. Plants and trees brought the outside in as did the life-size porcelain tortoise.

Lise, center, as the Queen of Spades, by Man Ray
Joan Miro illustrated Lise's first book, Il etait une pie (There was a magpie), 1928

A satin grotto in a forest - why not?

She wrote poetry, edited the short-lived Surrealist literary review Phare de Neuilly of 1933 and later in life wrote romance novels so racy they were forbidden to minors.

The Empty Cage from Cahier de curieuse personne (1933), trans. by Franklin Rosemont

I missed
the book of my life
one night
when they forgot
to put a sharp pencil
next to my bed