Synopses & Reviews
Now in paperback: the third volume of John Richardson’s magisterial Life of Picasso.
Here is Picasso at the height of his powers in Rome and Naples, producing the sets and costumes with Cocteau for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, and visiting Pompei where the antique statuary fuel his obsession with classicism; in Paris, creating some of his most important sculpture and painting as part of a group that included Braque, Apollinaire, Miró, and Breton; spending summers in the South of France in the company of Gerald and Sara Murphy, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald. These are the years of his marriage to the Russian ballerina Olga Khokhlova—the mother of his only legitimate child, Paulo—and of his passionate affair with Marie-Thérèse Walter, who was, as well, his model and muse.
A groundbreaking contribution to our understanding of one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century.
As he magnificently combines meticulous scholarship with irresistible narrative appeal, Richardson draws on his close friendship with Picasso, his own diaries, the collaboration of Picasso's widow Jacqueline, and unprecedented access to Picasso's studio and papers to arrive at a profound understanding of the artist and his work. 800 photos.
About the Author
John Richardson was born in 1924. He studied art at the Slade School but soon gave up painting for art criticism. In 1949 he moved to Provence, where he helped the collector Douglas Cooper transform the Château de Castille near Avignon into a private museum of cubist painting. For the next twelve years he lived in France where he became friends with Picasso, Braque, Léger, and Cocteau. With Picasso's encouragement he embarked on an analytic study of the artist's portraits, part of which is incorporated in the present biography.
In the early 1960s Richardson went to live in New York City where he was appointed head of Christie's U.S. operation. Besides having organized various exhibitions, he has written books on Manet and Braque and is a contributor to The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair. The first volume of his Life of Picasso was published to wide acclaim in 1991 and won England's prestigious Whitbread Prize. In 1993 he was made a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. In 1994-95 he served as the Slade Professor of Art at Oxford University. Currently he divides his time between Connecticut and New York City, where he is working on the third and fourth volumes of this biography.
From the Hardcover edition.