February 28, 2011 / 3:49 PM / 8 years ago

Artist, Dylan muse Suze Rotolo dies: Village Voice

Author Suze Rotolo poses for a photograph in the Greenwich Village section of New York, July 2, 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - American artist Suze Rotolo, most famous for her three-year relationship with singer/songwriter Bob Dylan, has died, her friend and Village Voice critic Jim Hoberman said.

He wrote in his blog that the 67-year-old died “after a long illness, at home in her Noho (New York) loft and the arms of her husband of 40 years, Enzo Bartoccioli.”

Rolling Stone magazine credited Rotolo with being the muse behind some of Dylan’s early love songs, including “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” “Boots of Spanish Leather” and “Tomorrow Is a Long Time”

Her left-wing background also meant she played “a huge role in Dylan’s political awakening,” Rolling Stone added.

Rotolo was photographed with Dylan on the cover of his 1963 album “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan,” and her 2009 memoirs were titled “A Freewheelin’ Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties.”

She was 17 years old when she began dating Dylan in 1961. In the song Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right, he wrote: “I once loved a woman, a child I’m told/I gave her my heart, but she wanted my soul.”

After three years the couple split, and Rotolo went on to marry Italian film editor Bartoccioli whom she met on a trip to Italy in 1962. They had a son named Luca.

She called her artwork “book art,” or “a reinterpretation of the book as an art object, thereby altering the perception of what a book can be.”

Rotolo was described as an intensely private person and for years refused to discuss Dylan in interviews. But she agreed to be interviewed in Martin Scorsese’s 2005 documentary about the singer, “No Direction Home.”

Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato

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