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By John Richardson

John Richardson attracts at the related blend of energetic writing, serious astuteness, exhaustive study, and private event which made a bestseller out of the 1st quantity and vividly recreates the artist’s lifestyles and paintings throughout the the most important decade of 1907-17 - a interval within which Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque invented Cubism and to that quantity engendered modernism. Richardson has had specific entry to untapped assets and unpublished fabric. through harnessing biography to artwork heritage, he has controlled to crack the code of cubism extra effectively than any of his predecessors. And through bringing a clean gentle to endure at the artist’s frequently too sensationalised deepest lifestyles, he has succeeded in bobbing up with a wholly new view of this paradoxical guy of his paradoxical paintings. by no means sooner than 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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The Museum of Modern Art, New York (see p. 10). RAYMONDE of Dora Maar—a portrait not unlike the top right-hand demoiselle-—had been inspired by the muzzle of his Afghan hound, Kazbek. “I wanted to comment on the animal nature of women," he said. And what better vehicle for this than that whorehouse staple, the dog-faced woman—the embodiment of the raunchiness that Baudelaire extolled? This, I think, is how we should see the demoiselle on the right, squatting post-coitally on a bidet, twisting her Medusa face around to administer the shock of horror that will leave her client wallowing in disgust—for her, her sex and himself.

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. The girl was de trop—in the way. 11 They had forgathered at Apollinaire’s apartment.

We hadn’t realized it. Those were primitives, not magic things. The Negro pieces were intercesseurs, mediators; ever since then I’ve known the word in French. They were against everything—against unknown, threatening spirits. I understood; I too am against everything. I too believe that everything is unknown, that everything is an enemy! Everything! I understood what the Negroes used their sculpture for. . The fetishes were . . weapons. To help people avoid coming under the influence of spirits again, to help them become independent.

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