Preface

"We all start out by understanding and enjoying the artistic production of our own time. That, at least, is the normal, healthy, and natural way to start."

Max J. Friedländer

Picasso's art is one of the forces that have shaped our era. Today it no longer matters whether we approve or disapprove of his achievement; we should understand its historic significance. This book attempts to interpret the works of Picasso by means of a method of interpretation that has been developed for the great works of art of past ages. Its aim is to demonstrate that the creations of a living master can be judged by these same standards.

The æuvre of Picasso, as it stands today, is so vast and so varied that it would be presumptuous even to attempt an exhaustive presentation in a single volume. Many omissions have been necessary despite the large number of individual works reproduced and commented on here. On the other hand, our emphasis on certain aspects of the master's work may help to clarify the bewildering wealth of his artistic production, and thus to make possible a deeper understanding of it.

In this book the attempt has been made to establish the closest possible correlation of text and reproductions. Thus it is suggested that the reader would be well-advised to study the reproductions in the order in which they are discussed in the successive chapters.

This monograph presents Picasso not only as a painter but also as

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