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Life with Picasso Paperback – May 26, 1989


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (May 26, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385261861
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385261869
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

[Gilot's] recall of his [Picasso's] discussions about art, details of private visits to friends such as Matisse, Braque and Giacometti, and her intimate understanding of his temperament, make this work unique DAILY TELEGRAPH This memoir is both a vivd portrait of a monstrously difficult man and a brilliant depiction of a great artist at work NEW YORK TIMES ... no-one in the Picasso entourage was so close to him... fascinating. Tim Hilton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Francoise Gilot met Picasso during the German occupation of Paris, she was twenty-one, he was sixty-two. For nearly a decade, Gilot shared her life with this giant of the art world, giving birth to two of his children, working as his model, and sharing his world. This uniquely candid and vivid memoir takes readers behind the Piccasso legend to meet the man.

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Customer Reviews

The result is amazing.
"pomorie"
Bought this paperback book for my wife who is into biographies and she was very pleased with the book, its condition, and with the story line.
Vincent F. Cronan
Francoise Gilot is a very dynamic and insightful person and her work is as interesting to appreciate as her writing.
Carla Campbell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
I read this book with a certain guilt as if prying into the intimate world of others I had no business looking into. But the fascination with the life of the great artist, and the whole subject of creativity kept me reading on even when I felt a bit disgusted in doing so.

I don't think it is my prudery that led to these feelings. The Picasso of this work is an egomaniac, a moral monster, who shows absolutely no consideration whatever for those closest to him. The people who have helped him in the past do not count for him. The people who are involved with him in the present are manipulated by him for his own purposes. He is tremendously ambitious, greedy financially, stingy, sexually driven and demanding without necessarily being interested in the feelings of the woman he is with . Gilot is no innocent, and her relation with Picasso comes not only one feels out of her own ambition as an artist but her desire to be next to the big- deal the big- name the great genius of art. It is instructive how she cans the two aunts who raise her when the great Pablo demands exclusive attention. This is not to deny her genuine love for him or his passion for her, though no doubt this was never particularly exclusive. Picasso was a great user, user of materials and situations for his art, and user of people for his life. His work has a cruelty his life shares. And it seems to me that that cruelty means his work in the deepest sense does not reach the highest level, the level where Rembrandt and Michangelo and Raphael are. And this because the great draughtsman is not a great reader of the human soul . He is rather a twenty- second technical man a supreme master of means who knows how to put the machine in himself to use to cut up and recombine the world for his purposes.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28, 1998
Format: Paperback
Gilot's representation of her time with Picasso is obviously the product of in depth journals. The potrayal of his monologues and mannerisms are detailed to a very fine degree. Overlooked, by the majority of reviewers of this work, is her painstaking detail into his artistic process. The level of detail she provides regarding the techniques Picasso used eclipses any other Picasso biography. Gilot documented his work with oils, sculpture, etching and many other mediums. Always the focus of reviews are Picasso as the great abuser, the great manipulator. Focus always seems to placed on the physcological aspects of his art, his life and their relationship. Seldom is the emphasis placed on the technical nature of this work. It is a large portion on this book. It is what really makes it worth the read...
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Erik K on May 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
The best book on Picasso I have read. Francoise Gilot, wife to Picasso and a painter, writes possibly with better insight than Picasso himself could, and certainly any other "outside of the circle" biographer could, about Picasso's manner of painting, his personality and lifestyle, his motivations and a good part of his life. Excellent, excellent book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15, 1998
Format: Paperback
I'm a huge fan of biographies and art. Given this book as a present from a friend, I LOVED it. It makes one wonder - how do biographers DARE write about people they never knew?! This is such an intimate portrait of a man - by a woman with an insight into what made him tick and an appreciation of his talents both artistic and human. Although Picasso is portrayed as an egomaniac, abusive and unapproachable - which no doubt was a part of him - the general public tends to overlook the intricacy of his personality and the reasons behind his behavior. Francois Gilot gave such a beautiful portrait of their relationship - and although it may just be the romantic side of me - I believe their love was true and she understood him and related on a somewhat more equal plane than any of his other lovers. Read the book - it's not the average Picasso's a jerk book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 9, 1997
Format: Paperback
Picasso. The word is more than a name, and signifies Artist with a capital "A".
Picasso: Modern, Masculine, Procreative. And completely wrapped up in himself.
Gilot, like anyone who was part of Picasso's circle, has tended to disappear in the shadow he cast. Small wonder, as you see, when you read this book, how hungrily he devoured the energies and attention of all at hand. Gilot paid attention, though, and reports faithfully, quoting fascinating extended and insightful monologues of Picasso's on his thinking and painting -- his own and that of others -- some of which have been quoted so often as to lose sight of this source.
She also cites numerous instances of Picasso's devious double-think and manipulative behavior.
She doesn't hesitate to settle a few old scores, either, for Life with Picasso meant at some point Leaving Picasso, and she had clearly suffered her share of war wounds by then. She knew the extent of her devotion and the measure its worth - and she would not allow that to be violated.
Some parenthetical notes:
1. Charlie Rose produced a program of a one (TV) hour walk through of the Picasso Portraits exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. His guide (I forget his name) relates that Picasso, when the book was published in the early 60's, said repeatedly, "It's just not done." He was perhaps The Modern Artist, but the modern world had gotten away from him. In the world he came from, outrageous behavior was an artistic attitude - a professional technique. One did not discuss private relations before the entire world. The illustration of his psychological profile must have left Picasso feeling truly naked, for it was the meat of his work.
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