Life with Picasso by Françoise Gilot and Carlton Lake
Françoise Gilot's candid memoir remains the most revealing portrait of Picasso written, and gives fascinating insight into the intense and creative life shared by two modern artists.
Françoise Gilot was in her early twenties when she met the sixty-one-year-old Pablo Picasso in 1943. Brought up in a well-to-do upper-middle-class family, who had sent her to Cambridge and the Sorbonne and hoped that she would go into law, the young woman defied their wishes and set her sights on being an artist. Her introduction to Picasso led to a friendship, a love affair, and a relationship of ten years, during which Gilot gave birth to Picasso’s two children, Paloma and Claude. Gilot was one of Picasso’s muses; she was also very much her own woman, determined to make herself into the remarkable painter she did indeed become.
Life with Picasso is an indispensable record of his thinking about art, as well as an often very funny account of his relationships with other artists and with dealers and hangers-on. It is also about Françoise Gilot. This is a brilliant self-portrait of a young woman of enormous talent and exacting intelligence figuring out who she wants to be.
What it is like actually to live with the most publicized artist in history—as chauffeur, secretary, pupil, companion, mother, lover, and ex-lover—is now told for the first time.” —Selden Rodman, Saturday Review
“The portrait of Picasso that emerges . . . has a monumentality, a richness and diversity and intensity of being that could have been captured only by a woman of uncommon gifts.” —Paul Pickrel, Harper’s Magazine
“She is a superb witness to Picasso as an artist and to his views on art. . . . Picasso’s intentions, his way of working and his fearless invention are brilliantly revealed.” —Aline Saarinen, The New York Times Book Review
“Astonishing, crowded, intimate . . . a biographer of true Boswellian blood . . . a convincing portrait, painted with knowledge that comes only from absolute intimacy, of a fascinating monster, a geyser of energy, a complex character. . . . We are shown pictures of Malraux, Cocteau, Matisse, Hemingway . . . Gertrude Stein, Braque, Paul Éluard, Giacometti, Gide, Aragon, Chagall, Leger, Chaplin. . . . The reader feels that he is in Picasso’s studio, and at times even in Picasso’s mind.” —Clifton Fadiman, Book-of-the-Month Club News
Publisher: NYRB Classics