Guillaume Apollinaire

Polish-French, 1880 - 1918

Guillaume Apollinaire was born Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki in Rome to a Polish family. He adopted the name by which he is now known in his late teens, when he moved to Paris and joined the artistic communities then thriving in Montmartre and Montparnasse. There, he befriended, and was later painted by, artists including Jean Metzinger, Amedeo Modigliani, and Pablo Picasso. In addition to poetry, Apollinaire worked as a journalist and art critic for Le Matin, Intransigeant, and Paris Journal. As an art critic, he often expressed controversial opinions that went beyond his support of Cubism and Surrealism, including a half-serious plea for the Louvre to be burnt down.