Sacred Monsters, Sacred Masters  
John Richardson    



In the tradition of Richard Feigen's Tales from the Art Crypt, John Richardson, author of the valuable A Life of Picasso and former head of Christie's US operations, has written a fascinating book in equal parts memoir and history, criticism and polemic, titled Sacred Monsters, Sacred Masters. Its gestures are epic, and, as with all things epic, it is immense in reach but by no means exhaustive in detail; it is grand but not encyclopedic; it is a book of fantastic figures penned by a man of imposing opinions. As a tastemaker and collector himself, Richardson is well placed to write on his eloquent menagerie of creatures, which include, among many others, Truman Capote, Salvador Dalí, Andy Warhol, Lucien Freud, Joan Miró, the Sitwells (Osbert, Edith, and Sacheverell appearing as Chateaubriand, Pope, and Shelley respectively to his young mind), and the ever maligned Peggy Guggenheim.

In this issue of Bold Type, read an essay about Richardson's alternately scathing and appreciative approach to his subjects, along with an excerpt from the Sacred Monsters, Sacred Masters.

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