Nusch Éluard  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Nusch Éluard (born Maria Benz, 1906 - 1946) was a performer, model and surrealist artist best known as the second wife of Paul Éluard.

Born in Mulhouse (then part of the German Empire), Benz arrived in France as a stage performer, variously described as a small-time actress, a traveling acrobat, and a "hypnotist's stooge". She met Paul Éluard in 1930 working as a model, married him in 1934, produced surrealist photomontage and other work, and is the subject of "Facile," a collection of Éluard's poetry published as a photogravure book, illustrated with Man Ray's nude photographs of her.

She was also the subject of several cubist portraits and sketches by Pablo Picasso in the late 1930s, and is said to have had an affair with him. Nusch died unexpectedly in 1946 in Paris, collapsing in the street of a stroke.

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