How Picasso’s Muse Became a Master

Alexandra Schwartz at The New Yorker:

There’s no way to know, of course, if all this happened as Gilot says it did. (Lake said that she had “total recall,” a claim that tends to raise rather than allay suspicions.) She has the memoirist’s prerogative—this is how I remember it—and Picasso’s tyranny and brilliance are hardly in dispute. The bigger mystery is Gilot; the self in her self-portrait can be hard to see behind the lacquered irony and reserve. She goes along with Picasso’s more outlandish demands and schemes, but, she tells us, “not at all for his reasons.” Her dissent is withering and sarcastic rather than furious; like other women of her generation who pointedly overlooked the bad behavior of their husbands, she is concerned with preserving her own dignity. When she is seven months pregnant with Paloma, her doctor (an obstetrician this time) tells her that she is in danger; the labor has to be induced immediately. Alas, this is inconvenient for Picasso, who is due to be at a World Peace Conference elsewhere in Paris the same day.

more here.