Describing himself as a "fly" compared with the "mountain" of Picasso, Penrose makes a good Boswell. His endearing description of the artist at play "P picks up dog's bone, pretends to gnaw and then holds it as a continuation of his nose" reveals that the art-play never stopped. In the shadow of the master, there is much amusement to be had from courtiers squabbling for his approval. Bit players in this revealing portrait include Gary Cooper, Alfred Jarry ("understood very little of painting") and the Duke of Edinburgh, shown smiling broadly at a Picasso show in 1960.
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