To be released on 18 February 2011

With contributions by Nienke Bakker, Isabel Cendoya and Peter Read
Edited by Michael Raeburn

In 1900, around the time of his 19th birthday, Pablo Picasso went to Paris to visit the Universal Exhibition and have his first experience of the art capital of the world. His training had been in provincial Spanish art schools, but the following year he was offered a large exhibition at the prestigious Vollard Gallery and he became familiar with the bohemian district of Montmartre and its gaudy pleasures. Yet only a few years later he was challenging Matisse for the position of leader of the French avant garde and was set on his revolutionary path as a universal artist. This book follows Picassos discovery of art and life in the French capital and examines his response to specific artists, including Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, Steinlen, Puvis de Chavannes, Rodin and Cézanne. He soon began to forge a personal style, drawing on the process of painting itself, which blurred the traditional distinctions between imitation and reality. When Georges Braque visited his studio to see his latest work in 1907, he exclaimed: With your paintings, it is as though you wanted to make us eat tow and drink kerosene! As an artist Picasso was now leading the troupe by eating fire.

Accompanies the exhibitions in the Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam, 18 February 2011 – 13 May 2011, and in Museu Picasso de Barcelone, 30 June 2011-15 October 2011)