Palau and Picasso
The relationship between Palau and Picasso goes beyond the friendship they began in 1947. It goes back to the early 1930s, when a young Palau was impressed by the vision Picasso revealed in a reproduction of La vida, a masterpiece from Picasso’s Blue Period.
It was also a time when Palau would overhear many conversations between his father and his friends when the name of Picasso would continually crop up.
The cumulative effect of all this would lead Palau to Paris in December 1945. In reference to his arrival in the French capital, Palau commented “My great obsession was to meet Picasso”.
Before actually meeting the artist for the first time, Palau showed just how much he already know about Picasso with the publication of his first book about him, Vides de Picasso, published in 1946.
He finally met Picasso in 1947 and so began a friendship that would last 25 years, until 1972. Over that time, they became firm friends and Palau had numerous opportunities to question the artist about his life and art.
Picasso affectionately referred to Palau’s meticulously prepared questions as “demands”. The two spent a great deal of time discussing these questions and any other subjects that came up, and Palau would write up his notes as soon as he got back to his hotel.
These discussions, and all the research undertaken by Palau on the life and work of Picasso, have led to more than 20 books, along with numerous articles, collaborations and lectures about Picasso. Palau has even directed a film about Picasso, Picasso a Catalunya, produced by Estela Films.
These days, Palau i Fabre is regarded as one of the world's greatest experts on Pablo Picasso. He also has the authority, granted to him by Picasso himself, to authenticate the artist's work. In fact, when presented with a work whose authenticity he was asked to certify, Picasso sent it to Palau, declaring that Palau knew his work better than he did.
In Palau's written work on Picasso, we can find almost every genre represented: theatre (Homenatge a Picasso, 1971), poetry (Teoria dels Colors) and, above all, essays, including three volumes on Picasso that represent the most meticulous and detailed study ever written on the artist.
Picasso vivent (1881-1907), published in 1980, Picasso cubisme (1907-1917) published in 1990, and, published in 1999, Dels ballets al drama (1917-1926).
This collection, which is still a work in progress, is awaiting the publication of a fourth volume.