Photo: © Brigitte Lacombe
About the Author
John Richardson was born in 1924. He studied art at the Slade School but soon gave up painting for art criticism. In 1949 he moved to Provence, where he helped the collector Douglas Cooper transform the Château de Castille near Avignon into a private museum of cubist painting. For the next twelve years he lived in France where he became friends with Picasso, Braque, Léger, and Cocteau. With Picasso’s encouragement he embarked on an analytic study of the artist’s portraits, part of which is incorporated in the present biography.
In the early 1960s Richardson went to live in New York City where he was appointed head of Christie’s U.S. operation. Besides having organized various exhibitions, he has written books on Manet and Braque and is a contributor to The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair. The first volume of his Life of Picasso was published to wide acclaim in 1991 and won England’s prestigious Whitbread Prize. In 1993 he was made a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. In 1994-95 he served as the Slade Professor of Art at Oxford University. Currently he divides his time between Connecticut and New York City, where he is working on the third and fourth volumes of this biography.