Nusch Éluard, born Maria Benz (1906-1946) was a French performer, model and surrealist artist. She arrived in France as a stage performer, variously described as a small-time actress, a traveling acrobat, and a "hypnotist's stooge", there, in 1930, she met Paul Éluard, and later married him in 1934. She was said to have had an affair with Picasso and was the subject of several cubist portraits and sketches in the late 1930s that vary markedly in style and tone. In all of them her defining attribute was her mass of dark, tightly curled hair, usually held up by a ribbon. She worked for the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. She died in 1946 in Paris, collapsing in the street due to a massive stroke.