A Life of Picasso, Volume III:
The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932.
Knopf, 608 pages, $40
It’s been sixteen years since volume 1, The Early Years, 1881–1906, of John Richardson’s monumental Life of Picasso first appeared and eleven since the publication of volume 2, The Painter of Modern Life, 1907–1917. This month, the long-awaited volume 3, The Triumphant Years, 1917–1932, has arrived. (A final fourth volume has been promised from the start.) In volume 1, Richardson and his superb collaborator, Marilyn McCully, set a new standard with their richly detailed, scrupulously researched, almost overwhelmingly informative account of Picasso’s childhood and his formative years as a student and a young artist in Barcelona and in Paris. With its lavish detail and ample servings of gossip, volume 1 both enlarged our knowledge and dispelled some of the...