Pablo Picasso the pussycat

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Pablo Picasso, one the great artistic geniuses of the century who is now under frequent attack as a woman-hater, has been defended in a striking and unexpected new biography which reveals that he was jilted at least twice.

John Richardson, in the second volume of his acclaimed biography A Life of Picasso discloses how, during the First World War, Gaby Lespinasse, a cabaret dancer, and Irene Lagut, subject of Picasso's The Lovers (above), both rejected him. The Spanish artist, says Richardson,was often tender and compassionate in his relationships with women and was "as much sinned against as sinning".