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By John Richardson

From 1950 to 1962, John Richardson lived close to Picasso in France and was once a chum of the artist. so as to writing a biography, the acclaimed artwork historian stored a diary in their conferences. After Picasso’s loss of life, his widow Jacqueline collaborated within the practise of this paintings, giving Richardson entry to Picasso’s studio and papers. quantity one among this impressive biography establishes the complexity of Picasso’s Spanish roots; his aversion to his local Malaga and his ardour for Barcelona and Catalan "modernisme". Richardson introduces new fabric at the artist’s early education in spiritual paintings; re-examines previous legends to supply clean insights into the inventive mess ups of Picasso’s father as an impetus to his sons’s triumphs; and comprises photographs of Apollinaire, Max Jacob and Gertrude Stein, who made up "The Picasso Gang" in Paris through the "Blue" and "Rose" classes.

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Worried what I was up to in the street. But any vigilance on her part was limited because ... in order to watch me [she] had to climb on top of the water closet. She stood on tiptoe and through a small crack could observe our games . . There in the Plaza de Pontevedra, in front of the Instituto [where don José taught], we organized our own bullfights. I used to teach the other boys how to handle the bull and our jackets would serve as capes. 9 Picasso. Scene Backstage at a Theater. Corunna, 1894.

Charcoal and conte crayon on paper, 45x34 cm. Museu Picasso, Barcelona.

Francisco is a mystery in other respects. Next to nothing is known about this bizarre gentleman with the staring eyes and outsize walrus mustache beyond the fact that he married a plump young woman from Malaga, Inès Lôpez Robles; that he fathered four girls (Aurelia, Maria, Eladia and Eliodora) and abandoned his family, though not de­ finitively, for a career in Cuba. In 1883, after some years as a customs official in Havana—a job for which his languages would have qualified him—don Francisco an­ nounced that he was returning home, presumably to retire.

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