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Picasso : A Biography by Patrick O'Brian
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Picasso : A Biography

by Patrick O'Brian

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At the outset O'Brian recognizes the difficulty of writing about art. Picasso was against it, rejecting all the pretentious blah and avoiding whenever possible the "What does it mean?" question.
Although he has likes and dislikes among Picasso's art, O'Brian does more description than criticism, putting the works in their context and out of this context building the life of Picasso. His father started him painting (he was a professional artist himself)and Malaga, Catalonia, Paris and the Mediterranean were essential influences. He was a sociable person throughout his life and seemed to meet and befriend (at least at first) everyone, including Braque, Matisse, Rousseau - with influential collectors such as Leo and Gertrude Stein giving him early support in Paris.
O'Brian, I think rightly, emphasizes the strong influence of women on Picasso and shows his ups and downs, married and otherwise as a powerful key to his art.
I think that this is an exceptionally good book and I love the early 20th century Spanish, Catalan, Paris and Côte d'Azur background. The fashion for beaches had not yet started and Picasso could swim from a deserted Cap d'Antibes. ( )
  Miro | Jul 30, 2006 |
Superb! Imagine 485 pages of text without a single photo or illustration that gives you a complete picture of the entire works of the great artist. Here you have the power of words! Bravo! ( )
  hopespringsbiblio | Jun 27, 2006 |
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