By John Richardson
John Richardson attracts at the comparable mix of full of life writing, serious astuteness, exhaustive examine, and private event which made a bestseller out of the 1st quantity and vividly recreates the artist’s existence and paintings in the course of the the most important decade of 1907-17 - a interval in which Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque invented Cubism and to that quantity engendered modernism. Richardson has had exact entry to untapped resources and unpublished fabric. via harnessing biography to paintings heritage, he has controlled to crack the code of cubism extra effectively than any of his predecessors. And by way of bringing a clean mild to endure at the artist’s frequently too sensationalised inner most existence, he has succeeded in bobbing up with a unconditionally new view of this paradoxical guy of his paradoxical paintings. by no means ahead of has Picasso’s prodigious approach, his incisive imaginative and prescient and never least his sardonic humour been analysed with such readability.
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Additional info for A LIFE OF PICASSO VOLUME II: 1907-1917
Petersburg. 44 RAYMONDE seeing the Demoiselles, however, Matisse was outraged to find his sensational Blue Nude, not to speak of his Bonheur de vivre, overtaken by Picasso’s “hideous” whores. He exploded in gales of laughter; what is more he did so in front of the caustic Fénéon. In fact Matisse was anything but amused. Despite his sanctimonious statement that “a little boldness discovered in a friend’s work was shared by all,”'3 he was fighting mad and let it be known that he regarded the Demoiselles as an attempt to ridicule the modern movement.
Stein’s claim to have seen the canvas in a virgin state dates from some thirty years later, when his grudge against Picasso had long since metastasized. Since the Demoiselles was relined sometime in the 1920s or early 1930s there is no knowing what exactly happened. Why did Picasso lie about this visit to the Ethnographical Museum and its effect on his work? One look at the Demoiselles confirms that the tribalf ization of the heads on the right—the most striking, not to say shocking, Picasso. Study for Nu à la draperie, 1907.
There are also some drawings of Raymonde which hint at the nature of the trouble that this exemplary child unwittingly caused. 9 A page in one of the Demoiselles carnets depicting a naked Raymonde seated, legs wide apart, washing her feet, explains the reason for this precaution. 10 Young girls excited Picasso. They also disturbed him; they put him in mind of his dead sister, Conchita. Fernande would have had cause for alarm. The decision in late July to return Raymonde to the orphanage would have gone against her warmth of heart but not her better judgment.