Category Archives: Cuba

Pedro Menocal

This dashing man was Pedro Menocal, the Cuban-born painter who did my mother’s portrait which hangs on the wall of the room on the cover of Chanel Bonfire.  Pedro was born outside of Havana in the country house of his Grandfather, General Mario Menocal.  He was born into a world of privilege (his family owned sugar and rice plantations) and pursued an interest in horses and art leading eventually to the study of architecture at the University of Havana.  Because of trouble with mathematics (I can totally relate) he never completed his studies.  After the revolution, he fled to New York City with his wife Magda and their daughter Magdalena.  It was in New York that he first started drawing and painting professionally, eventually becoming one of the most popular society portratists (and horse painters) of the late 20th Century. In addition to portraits of international financier, John Loeb, the children and horses of mining king, John Englehard, Jr., and the official portrait of first lady, Nancy Reagan, Menocal did Mother’s, my and Robbie’s portraits.  His wife and daughter now live in Mexico City and graciously allowed me to use Mother’s portrait for the cover of Chanel.