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A Life Of Picasso Volume III: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932 [Hardcover]

John Richardson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Nov 2007

Drawing on exhaustive research from interviews and unpublished archival material, John Richardson has produced the long-awaited third volume of the definitive biography, full of original, groundbreaking new insights into Picasso's life and work. His lively and incisive analysis of the work meshes seamlessly with the rich and detailed narrative of this complex and sensual life. The Triumphant Years reveals Picasso at the height of his powers, producing not only the costumes and sets for such Diaghilev Ballets Russes productions as Parade and Tricorne but some of his most important sculpture and paintings. These are tumultuous years, Picasso torn between marital respectability with Olga, the Russian ballerina who was his first wife, and the erotic passion of his mistress, Marie-Therese.

Rome and Naples would inspire the classicism in Picasso's work of the early twenties and Richardson reveals how the mercurial, witty Cocteau introduced him to the aristocratic and artistic world of Paris, including the de Noailles art patrons who backed the surrealist films of Buñuel and Dali. Picasso was amused by Tristan Tzara and the Dadaists but resisted the advances of André Breton and the Surrealists. Sara and Gerald Murphy, whom he met in the south of France, would introduce him to Hemingway and Fitzgerald.

With The Triumphant Years, Richardson has written a masterful and compelling biography full of valuable and intriguing research about the most important artist of the twentieth century.


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A Life Of Picasso Volume III: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932 + A Life of Picasso Volume II: 1907 1917: The Painter of Modern Life: 1907-1917 v. 2 + A Life Of Picasso Volume I: 1881-1906: 1881-1906 v. 1
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape; First Edition edition (1 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 022403121X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224031219
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 19.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 444,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Chock-full of facts and anecdotes[...] this is a fitting tribute to arguably the most important artist of the 20th century' -- Sunday Express

'The art biography of the year' -- The Times

'characteristically brilliant aside[s]... for Richardson's doubtless eye-opening take on [Guernica]... we shall have to wait for volume four' -- New Statesman

'enthralling mixture of glorious anecdotes, fact and interpretation' -- Sunday Times

'the mass of meticulously documented information spread between text and footnotes will be an invaluable resource' -- Guardian

`Every page provides some insightful and fascinating information' -- Wliiam Boyd, Sunday Herald

`No man is better qualified to write the biography of Picasso...such fluency, simplicity, clarity...knowledge and illuminating wisdom...marvellous'
-- Evening Standard

`Richardson's engaging capacity to combine expeditionary diversions with strategic direction emerges in his epilogue'
-- The Art Book

`a monumental life of Picasso' -- Independent on Sunday

`unmissably good' -- Tim Martin, Telegraph

Book Description

The magisterial third volume in John Richardson's Prize-winning life of the great artist

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TUMULT AND TRIUMPH IN AN ARTIST'S LIFE 27 Nov 2007
By Gail Cooke TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
To say that John Richardson has completed a monumental task is surely an understatement. His three volumes in a planned four part biography of this iconic artist are testament to the biographer's depth of knowledge as well as an intimate understanding of his subject's life and oeuvre. Mr. Richardson's authorial skills and powers of description are more than gratifying to both students of art and less informed readers as each page contributes to a greater knowledge of the man christened Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Clito Ruiz y Picasso.

The Triumphant Years, 1917 - 1932, covers a period of tumult and triumph in Picasso's life. Along with his friend poet Jean Cocteau Picasso has gone to Rome . He has agreed to do the decor for Diaghiliev's ballet Parade. While he had hoped to be married in Rome, Picasso's from time to time mistress changed her mind. Enter Olga Khokhlova, a lady like ballerina who was as "unbeddable as the `nice' Malaguena girls that his family had tried to foist on him."

There was naught to do but marry her - a marriage that may have begun in heaven but descended into hell with the deterioration of Olga's health and psychological condition. In 1927 he met 17-year-old Marie-Therese Walter, a young beauty with whom he became obsessed. Thus began an intense love for Marie-Therese and unbridled hatred for Olga, emotions which Richardson ties to figure paintings done during that time.

Picasso's 50th birthday, according to Richardson, was both a milestone and a millstone as the artist was driven to somehow stem the passage of years with work.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars why change the format? 15 Nov 2007
Format:Hardcover
Whilst one cannot argue with John Richardson's grasp of his subject and his tenacity for ploughing through Picasso's life and sharing it with us you nevertheless have to ask his publishers who was responsible for changing the physical dimensions of this third volume of this work? - a bizarre decision if ever there was one - the third volume being smaller than its two predecessors so that it does not sit well on the same bookshelf.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
If you think you know Picasso's work, this book will convince you otherwise. John Richardson has done a tremendous service by sorting out when Picasso produced his greatest works between 1917 and 1932, what sources he "borrowed" from, what he was trying to accomplish, and how all of these works affected his career. This book was quite a revelation to me. Simply by seeing a lot of his work (as you can do at Musee Picasso, for example), you quickly realize that Picasso constantly copied himself. And, of course, it is well known that he borrowed much while trying to establish a style and while working with Braque to develop cubism. But Picasso borrowed early and often in ways I didn't realize. In that sense, he was a supreme stylist who could execute someone else's idea in a more profound way. I came away with a new appreciation for that aspect of his talent.

While Picasso was alive, very little was said in books about his mistreatment of women and the motives behind his paintings of his wives and lovers. While his second life was alive, people were still pretty circumspect on this point. But now we know that Picasso was louse when it came to women and his family. This book gives you the full story of his first marriage, relationship with his young mistress who inspired so many joyous works, Marie-Therese Walter, and his constant attraction to prostitutes.

There are some other surprises in this book including how central his work with ballet was in creating interest in his paintings and sculptures. It was through Diaghilev that Picasso met his first wife, Olga Khokhlova, a ballerina in the Ballets Russes. Picasso decided it was time to settle down and marry. Despite having had long relationships with women before, he now was looking for someone who would help make him respectable.
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