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A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932

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Home » Books » Biography » Artists, Architects

A Life of Picasso

The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932

By John Richardson

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Format: Paperback, 592 pages
Other Information: Illustrated
Published In: United States, 01 October 2010
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, Miro, 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-Therese 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.

About the Author

John Richardson is the author of a memoir, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and Sacred Monsters, Sacred Masters, an essay collection; he also writes for The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair. In 1995-96 he served as the Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford University. He divides his time between Connecticut and New York City.


Volume 3 of Richardson's masterly portrait of a master; with a seven-city tour. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

This third volume in Richardson's magisterial biography takes us through Picasso's middle years, as he establishes his mastery over craft, other artists and the women in his life. The story begins the year Picasso falls in love with Olga Kokhlova, a Russian dancer he met while working on the avant-garde ballet Parade for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. By the end of the volume, Olga-his first wife-becomes "the victim of some of Picasso's most harrowing images." The book elaborates on the details of Picasso's inspirations, with Richardson providing a balance of fact, salacious detail and art-historical critique. He is particularly skilled at evoking the humor and sexuality that imbues Picasso's portraits of Marie-Therese, who became his mistress when he was 45 and she 17: "As for the figure's amazing legs: the secret of their monumentality had escaped me" until Courbet's great view of Etretat gave him a clue: "Picasso has used the rock arches of Etretat... to magnify the scale of the bather's legs and breasts...." The artist's entire circle is also here, from Georges Braque to Henri Matisse, from Andre Breton to Ernest Hemingway. They are jealous collaborators, competitive geniuses, excessive bohemians, dear friends, frustrated homosexuals-while a handful of women come across as essential yet entirely replaceable. 48 pages of color illus., 275 illus. in text. 60,000 first printing. (Nov. 9) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

EAN: 9780375711510
ISBN: 0375711511
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Dimensions: 23.52 x 18.64 x 4.29 centimetres (1.18 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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