Jean Cocteau was born at Maison Lafitte in 1889. Issued from a Parisian upper middle class family, Cocteau studied at the Condorcet College in Paris. he is nine years old when his father commits suicide. Cocteau is sent down from Condorcet college in 1904 for indiscipline. At 19 years he meet the famous tragic actor Edouard de Max. This last is subjugated by the writing of Cocteau and organizes in its honor one morning poetic where the poems of the young author are read. The following year Cocteau meet Marcel Proust and the contess of Noailles and he publish his first collection of poems, "La lampe d'Aladin" (the lamp of Aladdin). In 1912, Cocteau meet Stravinsky and Diaghilev, "Le sacre du printemps" created the following year will not be a success for the public. During the year 1914, Cocteau is an ambulance man in champagne ; the following year, he meets Satie, Picasso, Braque and Derain and takes part in various artistic events at their sides, among which the first of the realistic ballet "Parades" with Diaghilev, music of Eric Satie, decorations of Picasso. Cocteau publishes the poems of the "Cap de bonne espérance", "Ode à Picasso", "Le coq et l'arlequin", "Le Potomak" in 1919 and makes the knowledge of Raymond Radiguet with whom he creates "Le gendarme incompris" and create the review "Le coq" in 1920. Cocteau published numerous works at the beginning of the Twenties, "Thomas l'imposteur", "Le grand écart", "L'Ange Heurtebise ". December 20, 1923, Radiguet died suddenly, Cocteau is very affected and declare that he don't want to write anymore. By despair, the artist starts to devote himself to opium and in spite of cures of detoxication, it will consume drugs until the end of his life. In 1928, Cocteau published "Le livre blanc" (the White book), without any name of author and of editor. The first representation of "Orphée" takes place in 1926 and the following year the first of "Oedipus Rex". In 1929, Cocteau published the famous "Les enfants terribles", he is hospitalized the following year for 40 days because of typhoid. The artist meets Jean Marais in 1939. Cacteau is often fined by the jsutice for use of narcotics. The Forties are the years of success for Jean Cocteau (first of the "Monstres sacrés", movie "La belle et la bête" and especially triumph of "Antigone" to the Opera of Paris and of film "L'éternel retour"). In 1953, Cocteau is a president of the Jury of the Festival of Cannes. Following year, it is victim of a myocardial infarction. At side of the theatre, cinema and writing, we can add to the pallet of the talents of Cocteau that of draughtsman and painter. The artist thus illustrated several works of prints, he also decorated the Vaults at Villefranche and Milly la Forêt. He also produced many lithographs and engravings, as well as drawings.
Jean Cocteau is elected at the French Academy on March 3, 1955 ; receipt by Andre Maurois, Cocteau describes the Cupola like "some underwater cave, a quasi supernatural light of aquarium and on steps in half-circle, forty sirens with green tails and mélodieuses voices". After a new cardiac attack, Cocteau writes "Requiem" in 1955, his poetic will. In 1960, the artist turns "Le testament d'Orphée" with the financial assistance of François Truffaut. Jean Cocteau died on October 11, 1963