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A Life Of Picasso Volume I: 1881-1906: 1881-1906 v. 1 [Paperback]

John Richardson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 Feb 2009

From 1950 to 1962, John Richardson lived near Picasso in France and was a friend of the artist. With a view to writing a biography, the acclaimed art historian kept a diary of their meetings. After Picasso's death, his widow Jacqueline collaborated in the preparation of this work, giving Richardson access to Picasso's studio and papers.

Volume one of this extraordinary biography establishes the complexity of Picasso's Spanish roots; his aversion to his native Malaga and his passion for Barcelona and Catalan "modernisme". Richardson introduces new material on the artist's early training in religious art; re-examines old legends to provide fresh insights into the artistic failures of Picasso's father as an impetus to his sons's triumphs; and includes portraits of Apollinaire, Max Jacob and Gertrude Stein, who made up "The Picasso Gang" in Paris during the "Blue" and "Rose" periods.

Frequently Bought Together

A Life Of Picasso Volume I: 1881-1906: 1881-1906 v. 1 + A Life of Picasso Volume II: 1907 1917: The Painter of Modern Life: 1907-1917 v. 2 + A Life Of Picasso Volume III: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932
Price For All Three: 68.00

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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Pimlico (5 Feb 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845951557
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845951559
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 2.9 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Richardson, it hardly needs repeating, is steeped in Picasso and his life (his own friendship with Picasso is the tacit bedrock of this biography) but the arguments he makes are always precise and cogent, never blithely assertive." (William Boyd The Spectator)

Book Description

The first volume of John Richardson's extraordiinary biography of Picasso

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fan Explains His Hero 3 Mar 2008
Where does genius come from? What are the motives? What are the stars that guide?

Picasso was arguably the most original and influential artist of the 20th century. In volume one of four planned volumes (three of which have been produced to date), John Richardson collaborates with Marilyn McCully to establish the detailed record of how Picasso developed as a man and an artist through the early Rose period. The book is made richer by Richardson's friendship with the artist and his access to Picasso's memories of key events. But he doesn't slavishly accept Picasso's version (except in damning Matisse as inferior to Picasso) but rather checks out the different versions and picks what seems to make the most sense.

Picasso's fanatic desire to succeed was fueled in part by his contempt for his father's failed career as an artist and his father's views that Picasso should follow in his footsteps. Picasso also needed to be treated as special, more than most of us. Groveling before exploitive dealers built a lifelong passion to be in charge. Picasso also knew that Paris was where he had to shine and suffered greatly to make his success there. His struggles will impress you.

Where the book is unequaled in my experience is in tracking down the sources of Picasso's images, gestures, styles, and innovations. The book is filled with black and white images from the works of other artists, Picasso's notebooks, photographs of the scenes and subjects, and related works that Picasso did. From these, you get a better sense of Picasso as a synthesizer of styles and modes.

In closely examining Picasso's work from these years, it's easy to develop superficial impressions of what sort of man did those paintings.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An insightful read about Picasso the man. 9 July 2013
By T. L.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The three volumes by John Richardson are meticulous. If you are interested in the life of Picasso these volumes really do put his life under the microscope. For some it may be too detailed, it is a big read but well worth it. I found this first volume an insightful read about this fascinating & complex man.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb 13 Jun 2010
Format:Misc. Supplies
A masterpiece of a biography on a 20th century genius. If you have any interest in art and creativity -- buy it!
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