Nusch Eluard

1906 – 1946

André Breton, ‘Exquisite Corpse’ c.1930
Exquisite Corpse c.1930
© ADAGP, Paris and DACS 2022, London; © Estate of Paul Eluard
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Nusch Éluard (born Maria Benz; 21 June 1906 – 28 November 1946) was a French performer, model and surrealist artist.

Born Maria Benz in Mulhouse (then part of the German Empire), she met Swiss architect and artist Max Bill in the Odeon Café in Zürich; he nicknamed her "Nusch", a name she would stick to. Their liaison ended after six months when Max Bill's plan to marry her in order to avoid her pending extradition from Switzerland was vetoed by his father (to whom he owed a substantial amount of money due to medical expenses following an accident which had forced him to leave the Bauhaus).

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