Free Shipping in the UK
Proud to be B-Corp

A Life of Picasso Volume IV John Richardson

Click to look inside

A Life of Picasso Volume IV By John Richardson

A Life of Picasso Volume IV by John Richardson

New RRP £35.00
Condition - New
Only 3 left

A Life of Picasso Volume IV Summary

A Life of Picasso Volume IV: The Minotaur Years: 1933-1943 by John Richardson

'A masterpiece' Sunday Times

'Magisterial... thrilling' Guardian

'Terrifically enjoyable' Daily Telegraph

The beautifully illustrated, long-awaited final volume of John Richardson's magisterial Life of Picasso, drawing on original research from interviews and never-before-seen material in the Picasso family archives.

The Minotaur Years opens in 1933 with a visit by the Hungarian-French photographer Brassai to Picasso's chateau in Normandy, Boisgeloup, where he would take his iconic photographs of the celebrated plaster busts of Picasso's lover Marie-Therese Walter. Picasso was contributing to Andre Breton's Minotaur magazine and spending time with the likes of Man Ray, Salvador Dali, Lee Miller, and the poet Paul Eluard, in Paris and the south of France. It was during this time that Picasso began writing surrealist poetry and became obsessed with the image of himself as the mythic Minotaur.

Richardson shows us the artist being as prolific as ever, painting Walter, as well as the surrealist photographer Dora Maar, who became a muse, collaborator and lover. The bombing of Guernica in April 1937 would inspire Picasso's vast masterwork of the same name, which he painted in just a few weeks for the Spanish Pavilion at the Paris World's Fair. When the Nazis occupied Paris in 1940, Picasso chose to remain in the city despite the threat that his art would be confiscated. In 1943, Picasso met Francoise Gilot who would replace Maar and inspire a brilliant new sequence of paintings.

As always, Richardson tells Picasso's story through his work, analysing how it shows what the artist was feeling and thinking. His fascinating and illuminating narrative immerses us in one of the most exciting moments in twentieth-century cultural history, and brings to a close the definitive and critically acclaimed biography of one of the world's most celebrated artists.

A Life of Picasso Volume IV Reviews

Clever, amusing, flamboyant and outrageous... Even incomplete, this is Richardson's masterpiece. * The Times, *Books of the Year* *
Richardson's monumental biography...comes at you like a roar... As biographer, Richardson is clever, amusing, flamboyant, outrageous - a worthy match for his subject... Even incomplete, this is Richardson's masterpiece. -- Laura Freeman * The Times *
Magnificent, unparalleled... How [Volume IV] manages to be as gripping as it is, as fresh as it is, only the gods of art can answer... Richardson is both an intimate witness and a ravenous historian... No one will ever again be able to combine Richardson's personal familiarity with Picasso with such impressive levels of history, insight, detail, gossip and breezy writing. The greatest art biography ever written can never have a proper ending. It's an incomplete masterpiece. But a masterpiece nevertheless. -- Waldemar Januszczak * Sunday Times *
What a magnificent resource this four-volume biography is, unfinished...yet unrivalled in its blend of erudition and gossipy insights. * Financial Times, *Books of the Year* *
Magisterial... What has always made Richardson's biographical work on Picasso so alive is the fact of his personal friendship with the artist. It is thrilling to read a narrative in which scholarly prose is regularly interrupted with the phrase Picasso once told me ... followed by an entirely fresh anecdote... How lucky we are...that Richardson lived long enough to get this far. -- Kathryn Hughes * Guardian *
One of the great biographical enterprises of our times. * New Statesman, *The Best Books of 2022 So Far* *
Terrifically enjoyable... irresistible. -- Alastair Sooke * Daily Telegraph *
No previous biographer of Picasso has commanded such detail, range and depth when dealing with this unendingly inventive and ferociously experimental artist. This fourth volume...reflects Richardson's gift for merging the personal with the professional. * Literary Review *
Gripping, highly readable and thoughtfully illustrated... It's hard to imagine that he could be bettered as our guide in the labyrinth of the minotaur. -- Stephen Smith * Financial Times *
Enlivened by...anecdotal intimacy... Richardson...has ingeniously deciphered the art without demystifying the artist. -- Peter Conrad * Observer *
Every page carries an entertaining story or a fascinating gobbet of artistic gossip. -- Craig Brown * Mail on Sunday *
A fluent writer with a gift for narrative and a sensitive ability to read the artist's work in relation to his life... The decade covered in this volume, which turns on Picasso's identification with the part-beast, part-man mythical Minotaur, is a tumultuous one, both in public and in private life... [it is] deftly presented as Richardson moves from the man to his circle to his art to larger historical events. -- Siri Hustvedt * New York Times Book Review *
Personal and political collide in lively fourth volume of detailed biography... The Minotaur Years retells what might be considered a familiar story, but carries it off with a liveliness generated by short chapters, sharp judgements and occasionally waspish dismissals, all dispatched at pace. It is the fruit of 60 years of thinking, conversing and speculating about the artist, underpinned by detailed looking, research and investigation of his movements moment by moment. -- Matthew Gale * The Art Newspaper *
[Richardson] set the standard for modern artists' biographies...The fourth and final a worthy follow-up to its predecessors... just as rich, just as astounding. -- Sebastian Smee * Washington Post *
The final chapter of a magisterial biography... The author's unique, extensive knowledge and insider information about Picasso - both the man and artist - informs insightful explications of the nuances and symbolism in Picasso's works... A masterful accomplishment. * Kirkus Reviews *
Monumental... Nobody has brought us closer [than Richardson] to understanding this extraordinary and complex artist. -- Miranda France * Prospect *
[A] magisterial work... superbly illustrated. -- Nicky Haslam * Oldie *
[A] magisterial and superbly illustrated biography. -- Ysenda Maxtone Graham * Daily Mail, *Book of the Week* *
Monumental... This uncompleted project will surely be the Ozymandias of all biographies, since Richardson's talents were uniquely matched to his protean subject. -- Fram Dinshaw * Catholic Herald *
Wonderfully lively, greatly informative and memorably insightful... a great read. -- Alexander Adams * Jackdaw *

About John Richardson

John Richardson was born in London in 1924. He studied art at the Slade School but soon gave up painting for art criticism. In 1949 he moved to France, where befriended Picasso, Braque, Leger, and Cocteau. The first volume of his magisterial four-volume A Life of Picasso won the Whitbread Prize in 1991. He was also the author of the memoir, The Sorcerer's Apprentice; an essay collection, Sacred Monsters, Sacred Masters; and books on Manet and Braque. He wrote for the New York Review of Books, New Yorker and Vanity Fair. He was made a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy in 1993, and served as the Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford University from 1995 to 1996. He died in 2019.

Additional information

A Life of Picasso Volume IV: The Minotaur Years: 1933-1943 by John Richardson
Vintage Publishing
Winner of Whitbread Book Awards: Biography Category 1991 Winner of Whitbread Book Awards: Book of the Year 1991
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a new book - be the first to read this copy. With untouched pages and a perfect binding, your brand new copy is ready to be opened for the first time

Customer Reviews - A Life of Picasso Volume IV