Title: Sacred Monsters, Sacred Masters: Beaton, ...
Publisher: Random House, U.S.A.
Publication Date: 2001
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Like New
Dust Jacket Condition: Like New
Edition: First Dell Printing.
First edition hardcover with dust jacket in like new condition. We ship fast!. Bookseller Inventory # 012532
Synopsis: Robert Hughes has described Richardson's multivolume biography of Picasso as "a masterpiece in the making." In this collection of his best shorter pieces, culled from more than thirty years' artistic and literary commentary and reviews, Richardson demonstrates the same dazzling narrative style that has earned him the reputation as one of our foremost biographers.
As a contributor to Vanity Fair, The New York Review of Books, House and Garden, and The New Yorker, John Richardson has a reputation for stimulating readers with his frank, discerning characterizations of art-world personalities as well as celebrities from a variety of other milieus-- people such as Truman Capote, Armand Hammer, Lucian Freud, Andy Warhol, and Peggy Guggenheim.
As readers await the third volume of A Life of Picasso, they will be diverted by this witty, wonderfully intelligent collection of approximately thirty essays, extensively revised and updated for this publication, each of which is illustrated with artwork or photographs.
Review: From the scandalous murder trial of a French art dealer's widow to photographer-designer Cecil Beaton's peculiar "romance" with Greta Garbo, this sinfully entertaining book lets readers brush up on 20th-century cultural history and the vagaries of human nature at the same time. While we wait for volume III of John Richardson's acclaimed Life of Picasso, the 28 sketches assembled here make an agreeable diversion, revealing Richardson's lighter side and formidable knowledge of art history. Admiring portraits of Chilean collector Eugenia Errazuriz ("Picasso's Other Mother") and British painter Lucian Freud are among the very few laudatory pieces in a collection notable for its enjoyable emphasis on the less edifying traits of the rich and/or famous. The Sitwells were spiteful mythomaniacs. Armand Hammer was "a veteran con man." As for the sexual proclivities of Salvador Dalí and his wife Gala... well, Richardson gives you all the gory details, some of which would have impressed the Marquis de Sade. Richardson appears as a character in several pieces: he worked for Hammer, spent a summer with Truman Capote in Venice, and sat for a portrait by Andy Warhol. But these appearances seldom seem self-aggrandizing; they're integrated into the essays with the same smoothness that distinguishes his prose. --Wendy Smith
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