book hack

Picasso: A Biography

Patrick O'Brian

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

This comprehensive biography of one of the most significant artists of the 20th century covers the arc of his personal life and career with extraordinarily rare insight and depth.


Picasso: A Biography

Picasso: A Biography

by Patrick O'Brian


The name Pablo Picasso looms larger than life, etched in our collective consciousness as the father of modern art and the creator of over 15,000 paintings. Yet the life of this towering figure is as complex and challenging as his artworks. In this expansive and intimate biography, historian Patrick O'Brian unearths the details of Picasso's early life in Spain, through his struggles that led to his invention of Cubism, thus sealing his name in history.

Through research and his personal friendship with Picasso, the acclaimed English author and translator Patrick O'Brian drew on his intimate access into the artist's life. This detailed portrayal combines O'Brian's scholarly knowledge of history with his personal insight. Renowned for his series of novels set during the Napoleonic Wars, O'Brian's novel Master and Commander was later adapted into an Oscar-nominated film.

Analyzing the political forces at work in Picasso's beloved Spain and France, this comprehensive biography is not only an intimate portrait of the artist, but of the 20th century itself, in which he changed the trajectory and history of art forever.

Favorite quote

A work of art must not be something that leaves a man unmoved. It has to make him react, feel strongly, start creating too. He has to be made aware of the world he's living in, and for that he must first be jolted out of it.

- Pablo Picasso

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