The Sorcerer's Apprentice
A Memoir of Picasso, Provence, and Douglas Cooper
John Richardson, Jed Perl
John Richardson's riveting memoir about growing up in England and, at twenty-five, beginning his twelve-year adventure with the controversial art collector Douglas Cooper.
With a new introduction by Jed Perl, here is John Richardson's richly entertaining memoir of his life with the brilliant but difficult British art expert Douglas Cooper--a fiendish, colorful, Evelyn Waugh-like figure who single-handedly assembled the world's most important private collection of Cubist paintings. John Richardson tells the story of their ill-fated but comical association, which began in London in 1949 when Richardson was twenty-five and moved onto the Château de Castille, the famous colonnaded folly in Provence that they restored and filled with masterpieces by Picasso, Braque, Léger, and Juan Gris. Richardson unfurls a fascinating adventure through twelve years, encompassing famous artists and writers, collectors and other celebrities--Francis Bacon, Jean Cocteau, Luis Miguel Dominguín, Dora Maar, Peggy Guggenheim, and Henri Matisse, to name only a few. And central to the book is Richardson's close friendship with Picasso, which coincided with the emergence of the artist's new mistress, Jacqueline Roque, and gave Richardson an inside view of the repercussions she would have on Picasso's life and work.
With an eye for detail, an ear for scandal, and a sparkling narrative style, Richardson has written a unique, fast-paced saga of modernism behind the scenes.