The generation to which I belong has a bad conscience.
—Marc Bloch, 1940

Picasso, Pablo. Serenade (L`aubade). 1942.

The fall of France to Hitler’s army in the summer of 1940, besides marking a fateful turn in the military history of the Second World War, was an event of immense importance in the cultural life of the West. For as long as anyone could then remember, Paris had been the unrivaled art capital of the world. It was also its fashion capital, and for cultivated people in many countries it was the literary and intellectual capital as well. Wherever the spirit of modernist thought had cast its powerful spell, Paris loomed as a leader and a legend. Its ignominious surrender to...


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