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Booker Prize-winning author John Berger gives us a stunning critical assessment of Pablo Picasso: At the height of his powers, Picasso was the artist as revolutionary: breaking through the niceties of form in order to mount a direct challenge to the values of his time. At the height of his fame, he was the artist as royalty: incalculably wealthy, universally idolizedand wholly isolated.
Bergerone of this centurys most insightful cultural historianstrains his penetrating gaze upon this most prodigious and enigmatic painter and on the Spanish landscape and very particular culture that shaped his life and work. Writing with a novelists sensuous evocation of character and detail, and drawing on an erudition that embraces history, politics, and art, Berger follows Picasso from his childhood in Malaga to the Blue Period and Cubism, from the creation of Guernica to the painted etchings of his final years. He gives us the full measure of Picassos triumphs and unsparing reckoning of their costin exile, in loneliness, and in a desolation that drove him, in his last works, into an old mans furious and desperate frenzy at the beauty of what he could no longer create.