As a young woman, Marie Laurencin studied porcelain painting at the Sèvres factory school before enrolling at the Académie Humbert in Paris. Laurencin became part of the circle of artists who worked in the Bateau-Lavoir. This heady cocktail of creativity led to Cubism.
Laurencin developed a style that was similar to early Cubist works with their shallow sense of space and flat planes of color. Laurencin spent the years of World War I in Spain. During this period, her style and subject matter evolved.
After World War I, Laurencin returned to Paris, where she remained for the rest of her life. She enjoyed success as an avant-garde portraitist during the 1920s, painting the fashion designer Coco Chanel. Laurencin designed costumes for Russian impresario Serge Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes productions. She exhibited interior designs at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes.
In addition to painting in oils and watercolors, Laurencin worked as an illustrator and graphic designer, creating stage designs, posters, and lithographs.