Monday, May 09, 2022

A Life of Picasso IV: The Minotaur Years: 1933-1943

My book for April was A Life of Picasso IV: The Minotaur Years: 1933-1943 by John Richardson. This is the fourth volume of a four volume set. I read the first volume [The Prodigy] in 2009, the second volume [The Cubist Rebel] in 2011 and the third volume [The Triumphant Years] in 2013.

I continue to be fascinated by the breadth and variety of Picasso's work. Signficant in this volume is the creation of Guernica. We saw this piece when we were in Spain in 2010. I didn't realize that the painting was originally created for the Spanish pavilion at the 1937 Paris International Exposition.

Two things shocked me in this book. First, Picasso remained in Paris while the Germans occupied the city during World War II. He continued to paint, but didn't exhibit. Second, Picasso wrote poetry as an alternative outlet. Between 1935 and 1959 he wrote over 300 poems.

As I noted when I read volume three, Picasso was very successful while he was alive. There were major exhibitions of his work in England and the United States during this period.

Richardson passed away at the age of 95 in 2019. The fourth volume stops at 1943. Picasso lived another thirty years; he died at the age of 91 in 1973.

I finished reading the book while we were at the Wallens. This volume was shorter and more accessible than volumes two and three. I am going to have to find a book that covers the last third of Picasso's life.

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