Matisse and Picasso: A Friendship in Art by Françoise Gilot - review by Patrick O’Connor

Patrick O’Connor

What She Saw in Him

Matisse and Picasso: A Friendship in Art


Bloomsbury 340pp £20 order from our bookshop

What sort of a woman would stay with a man who stubbed out his cigarette on her cheek? What sort of a man would do such a thing, cold sober, in order to ‘brand’ his girlfriend and common-law wife to be? In this, her second book about the years she spent with Picasso, Françoise Gilot does not try very hard to explain the masochistic impulses which every man or woman must have before they allow themselves to become the creature of some rich, famous or powerful genius.

Friendship, she insists, is the only honourable form of love, as for the rest she falls back on Montaigne to answer our ‘Why?’ – ‘Because it was him and because it was myself’. That she says she is relying on her own memories and wants to ‘daydream’ rather than give

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