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Picasso

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144 pages


She remembers being six years old and standing awkwardly in front of the gates of Picasso's grand house near Cannes, La Californie. Her father, Paolo, was nervous; her eight-year-old brother, Pablito, held her hand. They were there to collect the weekly allowance that Picasso grudgingly gave his son to support his family. Sometimes they were sent away - the maître was working or sleeping; on other occasions, the gates would be opened and they would walk into the intimidating, exciting chaos of Picasso's studio to face the man himself and his unpredictable moods. Looking back, Marina can understand why Picasso had so little interest in his grandchildren; but at the time, she and her brother longed for him to love and understand them - for him to solve their problems. Just a few miles away down the Côte d'Azur, they led a hand-to-mouth existence with a mother who lived in her own little fantasy world. They were utterly dependent on Picasso for their schooling, clothes and the food on their table - and for their futures. People assumed they were rich and privileged because they were 'Picassos'; they were to live their lives under the burden of these assumptions. It was this that caused her brother to commit suicide by drinking a bottle of bleach the day after his grandfather died.



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