by André Malraux
Following Pablo Picasso's death in 1973, André Malraux was summoned by Jacqueline Picasso, the artist's widow, to her home at Mougins in the South of France. There, surrounded by Picasso's powerful last paintings "painted face to face with death," and his art collection destined for the Louvre, Malraux recollected Picasso's rebellious life and the metamorphosis of his art. In Picasso's Mask, Malraux's memories, at once personal and historical, evoke Picasso as a private man and as a legendary artistic genius. For over half a century, André Malraux (1901–1976) was intimately involved in French intellectual life, as philosopher, novelist, soldier, statesman, and secretary for cultural affairs. Malraux knew Picasso well, and here recollects a number of his conversations with the painter. In rich, evocative, and memory-filled prose, he has written an inspiring and moving reminiscence. Picasso's Mask is one of the most profound works in Malraux's remarkable oeuvre.