Picasso at twenty-five was famous in Paris, comfortably off by 1914, wealthy and internationally recognised six years later. He married a leading ballerina, Olga Khokhlova, in Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. It turned out badly. Two of his mistresses, Fernande Olivier and FranÇoise Gilot, wrote tell-all memoirs, which he did his best, unsuccessfully, to repress. At least two other mistresses, Marie-Thérèse Walter and Dora Maar, have attained independent fame through his manic and magic portraits of them. He became a communist during World War II but was hooted down by the party when he drew Uncle Joe as a mustachioed gallant. He died in 1973 at the age of ninety-one after a tumultuous final decade of work. John Richardson and Marilyn McCully are engaged in a multi-volume biography, which, after three substantial tomes, has brought the story up to 1933.
Turning point for the century’s presiding genius
Picasso and Truth
by T.J. Clark
Princeton University Press (Footprint), $67 hb, 329 pp, 9780691157412
If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.
Patrick McCaughey, formerly Director of the National Gallery of Victoria, the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford Connecticut, and the Yale Center for British Art, is the author of Voyage and Landfall: The Art of Jan Senbergs (2006) and edited Bert & Ned: The Correspondence of Albert Tucker and Sidney Nolan (2006). He writes regularly for the Times Literary Supplement and Australian Book Review. He lives and works on the banks of the Quinnipiac River in New Haven.
By this contributor
- Patrick McCaughey reviews 'Modernists and Mavericks: Bacon, Freud, Hockney and the London Painters' by Martin Gayford
- Patrick McCaughey reviews 'Reason and Lovelessness: Essays, encounters, reviews 1980–2017' by Barry Hill
- Patrick McCaughey reviews 'The Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick' edited by Darryl Pinckney
Leave a comment
Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.
NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to email@example.com. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.