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on 3 November 2003
This book is an excellent introduction to the life and work of Picasso. It is about half text and half illustrations. The text is accessible and easy for someone with a casual interest in art to follow. The main text is a cronological account of Picasso's work. This is interspersed with shorter sections focusing on specific subjects (e.g. his sculpture and his posters).
Readers interested in a detailed and rigorous academic analysis will prefer a more comprehensive book, but for people looking for an accessible introduction it can't be beaten, particularly given the low price.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 February 2008
(A review of the papeback editon)

The two volume book is arranged in seventeen chapters concluding with a considerable Chronology illustrated with numerous black and white pictures, mostly photographs with many of the artist, Notes, a Bibliography which includes exhibition catalogues, and a rather brief (one page) Index of Names.

The opening Chapter reminds us of the stature of the man, and of his prodigious output; briefly summarising his career. The subsequent Chapters chronicle Picasso's progress starting with his childhood efforts, through the Blue and Rose Periods, Cubism, "Guernica" to mention just a few and concluding with "The Legend of the Artist". It is intelligently written, accessible and makes very interesting reading. The illustrations run with the text and are usually within a page or two of the relevant reference.

Produced in two paperback volumes in a cardboard slipcase Taschen's 25 anniversary edition is an impressive effort. It is superbly illustrated throughout with approaching 1,500 images mainly in colour but with a few back and white (usually drawings or photographs). The smallest pictures are just thumbnails, the largest full page and the occasional double page spread, with every size between; but there are plenty of good sized pictures with whole sections of colour plates, it certainly makes an impressive array. Overall the pictures far outweigh the text.

At such good value for money it is hard to be critical of this two volume set, but I fear I have two concerns. Firstly the Index seems wholly inadequate, an Index of Names which amounts to one page; finding a particular painting or anything else might prove difficult. Secondly, while the two volumes come protected in a slipcase, the card covers (paperback edition) to the individual volumes feel very slight; with each approaching 400 pages one feels one has to handle them with great care for fear of damaging the binding. It is however a very worthwhile set, one would be hard pressed to find so many reproductions of Picasso's work elsewhere for the money,
and would not hesitate to recommend it.
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This hardcover volume was first published in 1998 and is one of the best introductions to the development of Picasso's art as it evolved through his long career at the leading edge of artistic innovation. It's written by Carsten-Peter Warncke who was and still is Professor of Art at Goettingen University. The book is about 30% text overall, and the remaining 70% is taken up with high quality colour repros of Picasso's art.

The big 30cm x 25cm page size allows for big images. The author's text describes the development from the early blue and rose periods, through cubism to his later absorption by the Old Masters, and finally the disturbing impressionistic work he produced in his old age. Paintings, drawings, lithographs, ceramics and sculptures are all covered. Professor Warncke's writing style is succinct and informative, not too academic and quite lively.

Picasso started painting at age 8 and continued until his death at 91, and in many ways defined artistic innovation in the 20th century. If you want a book showing a sizeable body of his work and describing the process of its development in a clear and intelligent style, this is a good contender.
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on 13 June 2015
Great book for the Picasso fan. It's A4 size which is a bonus as some other Taschen series are small. Includes examples of his sketches, drawings, paintings & sculptures as well as information about his general and artistic life. I really like this book as I've learned much more about him as a man as well as lots about his paintings.
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on 18 February 2015
Bought this book to save me taking the only copy of it out of the university library every time I was writing an essay. The book is a brilliant resource for information on Picasso with quotes from him throughout. My only issue is with the cheap quality of the binding. On first use several of the pages fell out and have had to be glued back in which has ruined the 'just bought' look of the book.
Overall this is a great buy if you don't mind a low quality book and are prepared to do some repairing to keep it readable.
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VINE VOICEon 9 June 2014
I didn't read the small print on Amazon and I was quite disappointed when I received this book as it was only an A4 size paperback and most of the other Taschen art books that I'd purchased were larger hard backs. As a result the prints were much smaller and less impressive.That said ,this book gave an interesting overview of Picasso's life and works with a wide selection of (small) colour prints. I'm not sure that I really like Picasso's paintings however -they're certainly interesting and original, but not dazzlingly brilliant.
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on 4 June 2009
Fantastic book of a fantastic artist. Large, chunky but still manageable size of book packed with sketches, drawings, and paintings all very well reproduced and very comprehensive. Taschen quality as sublime as usual. Very interesting and informative biography of the great man, divided up over various time periods and various styles. A great volume for student or devotee and well worth a place on any bookshelf. An amazing output or "outpouring" of art in so many incredible forms. Really a must, whether you love him, like him or even hate him. You simply can't ignore him. I love this book and I'm sure that you will too.
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on 13 January 2010
Great for Picasso lovers, with beautiful colour pages of so many of his great works, and detailed descriptions of the paintings and the meaning behind them.
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on 13 December 2012
Very Good Value. Well printed, and good illustrations,and fast delivery,.a good adition to any art collection very good purchase at this price.
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on 23 December 2013
I bought this as a gift for my friend on her birthday. Was impressed by the size and the lovely, glossy appearance. Would recommend.
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