As a child, Antony Penrose first met Pablo Picasso when he visited the Penrose family home of Farley Farm, in Chiddingly, East Sussex in 1950. They became instant friends and invented their own boisterous game of pretend bull fights. In the excitement Antony bit Picasso, and Picasso bit him right back, but it did not spoil the friendship and during the many visits Antony made to Picasso’s homes in France he felt very much at home.
He loved the menagerie of pets – the live ones and those Picasso made as sculptures that seemed alive. Picasso painted Antony’s mother Lee Miller’s portrait six times and she photographed him more than 1,000 times. Her images illustrate Antony’s entertaining and amusing account of life around Picasso.
Antony’s The Boy Who Bit Picasso lecture was originally created for Gloucestershire DFAS and has been performed at the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. This lecture also covers the process of writing and the design of the book, which has been very favourably reviewed and is a best seller.