Matisse and Picasso achieved extraordinary prominence during
their lifetimes. They have become cultural icons, standing not only
for different kinds of art but also for different ways of living.
Matisse, known for his restraint and intense sense of privacy, for
his decorum and discretion, created an art that transcended daily
life and conveyed a sensuality that inhabited an abstract and
ethereal realm of being. In contrast, Picasso became the exemplar
of intense emotionality, of theatricality, of art as a kind of
autobiographical confession that was often charged with violence
and explosive eroticism. In Matisse and Picasso, Jack Flam
explores the compelling, competitive, parallel lives of these two
artists and their very different attitudes toward the idea of
artistic greatness, toward the women they loved, and ultimately
toward their confrontations with death.