Book review: Dora Versus Picasso, Cecil Jenkins

Book review: <i>Dora Versus Picasso</i>, Cecil Jenkins

Dora Versus Picasso
Cecil Jenkins, Matador, £8.99

Part-biography, part-fiction, this novel charts the tumultuous relationship between Pablo Picasso and his lover – Surrealist photographer Dora Maar – to the tense political backdrop of the interwar period in Paris. This makes interesting reading for art enthusiasts, notably for its description of the surprisingly central role played by Maar in the conceptualisation of Guernica – a triumph of painting in an era that was gradually prioritising photography over traditional art forms, to Picasso’s dismay. As a proto-feminist, the plot told from the female photographer’s perspective also meditates on the glamourised yet limiting status of artist’s muse. ★★★

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With a BA in French and History of Art from the University of Bristol, Florence spent a year living in Paris, studying Art History at the Sorbonne and working in publishing. She travels regularly back to France for both work and pleasure. Florence's passion for France revolves around its gastronomy, art and pleasure-seeking lifestyle, and the rebellious streak found only in a nation constantly looking for an excuse to go on strike!

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