Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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David Douglas Duncan

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Follow link for an enlarged imageThe Silent Studio (1976) / view images from this book

From the book jacket text:
With this memoir of poignant photographs, David Douglas Duncan has now completed a twenty-year long series of intimate works on a near-legendary neighbor, Picasso. It follows The Private World of Pablo Picasso, 1957-58; Picasso's Picassos, 1961; Goodbye Picasso, 1974.

This final book is a photographic tour de force — there are no captions — in which Duncan takes us on a personally conducted visit to Picasso's last studio-home in Mougins, on the French Riviera. No other photographer has been permitted in the locked rooms since the artist’s death. Only Duncan has photographed Jacqueline Picasso since that day. Picasso's heirs and the French government requested that DDD document Notre-Dame de Vie and its contents. As Duncan notes in the introductory text, Picasso's silent studio is his last self-portrait.

The Silent Studio contains all of the canvases Pablo Picasso painted of Jacqueline and gave to her (seen together only in this book), including probably the most haunting portrait of the twentieth century. No similar record-in-depth exists of the studios of the other "greats" of our art era following their deaths: Van Gogh, Cézanne, Klee, Matisse, Giacometti, Braque. Duncan's feelings for his friends Pablo and Jacqueline shine through every photograph in the Silent Studio, which is many things — most of all an epic love story, narrated in paint.