Cover image for Matisse and Picasso : a friendship in art
Matisse and Picasso : a friendship in art
Gilot, Fran.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Doubleday, [1990]

Physical Description:
xii, 339 pages ; 27 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N6853.M33 G45 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
N6853.M33 G45 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



The rare artistic and personal friendship which the two great masters shared, as seen through the eyes of Gilot, Picasso's companion from 1946 to 1954.  Includes letters from Matisse to Gilot. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gilot, painter, poet, and Picasso's companion from 1946 to 1954, wrote about their relationship in Life with Picasso [BKL D 1 64]. Here, in a meandering, generously designed and illustrated memoir, she describes the "difficult and rare friendship" shared by the two giants of twentieth-century art: Picasso and Matisse. Gilot, decades younger than both men, functioned as "arbiter, hostage, ambassador of good will, and agent provocateur" for the two geniuses whose rivalry evolved into respect. She analyzes their contrasting personalities and approaches to painting and discusses their inspirations and intent. While Matisse is serene and benevolent, expressing a "unity of spirit," Picasso is volatile and demanding, instilling his work with "existential anxiety." Gilot describes the elderly Matisse at work on his famous cutouts, shares his letters to her, and reconstructs conversations the three of them had about art. A unique and intimate portrait of the two artists that includes a self-portrait--the author is an interesting subject in her own right. ~--Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

In Gilot's wonderfully intimate, captivating memoir, Matisse, whom she greatly admired as kindred soul and fellow painter, seems to be the force holding together her roller-coaster relationship with Picasso. Her stormy eight-year alliance with ``bombastic introvert'' Picasso, which yielded two children--a tale fully told in her Life with Picasso --is recapitulated here without a trace of bitterness. Gilot throws a floodlight on the dynamics of the Matisse-Picasso symbiosis, wherein each artist continually challenged the other to transcend aesthetic taboos. Partly a valentine to a bygone Paris, her narrative also fills in the early years of Matisse and Picasso, with telling glimpses of Colette, Giacometti, Cocteau, Braque, Gertrude Stein, Juan Gris and many others. The book is charmingly illustrated with paintings, graphics and photographs. First serial to Lear's and Art & Antiques. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

With charm and grace, Gilot draws a warm, touching portrait of two larger-than-life figures in modern art. The friendship between these masters--composed of both respect and rivalry, gestures of generosity and pangs of jealousy--is presented with the clarity and immediacy of one who was both participant and observer. An accomplished artist herself, the author writes knowledgeably about the pair's creative activity, interaction, and relationships with other important figures of the time. This is not analytic art history but a candid memoir of personal experience, much like Gilot's Life with Picasso ( LJ 11/15/64). Unpublished letters, informal photographs, and illustrations complete this ``double portrait,'' an intimate and fascinating insight into the lives of two celebrated but very human men. Highly recommended.-- Paula Frosch, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.