Pablo Picasso, the inventor of Cubism, and Guillaume Apollinaire, the inventor of Surrealism, met in 1905, forged a close friendship, and between them laid the foundations of modernism in twentieth-century art and literature. Apollinaire's death in the 1918 flu epidemic did not diminish his importance to Picasso, who continued to draw on the poet for inspiration until his own death in 1973. "Picasso and Apollinaire" is a lively and impeccably researched examination of the creative interaction and fraternal complicity between the artist and the poet, as reflected in such works as Picasso's polymorphous portraits of Apollinaire, his 1907 drawings for Apollinaire's Bestiary poems, and the self-portrait he drew on the night the poet died. Peter Read delves into unpublished archive documents to show that many of Picasso's subsequent drawings, paintings, and sculptures were shaped by his response to the poet's most lyrical and uninhibited writing.
Along with an authoritative discussion of Apollinaire's best poetry, prose, and critical writing, the book opens unexpected pathways through Picasso's career-his early exhibitions in Paris, the fierce iron reliquary "Woman in a Garden" his commemorative, semi-abstract painting "The Kitchen", his monument to Apollinaire in Saint-Germain-des-Pres-and throws new light on the cultural and political context in which these works were produced.