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The Boy Who Bit Picasso: A Talk with Antony Penrose

An entertaining and amusing first-hand account of a life spent visiting Picasso in this talk by Antony Penrose.  

As a child Antony first met 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 later Antony took Picasso to see one of his favourite animals, William, the Ayrshire bull. Later when visiting Picasso in the South of France, Antony felt very much at home.

Children were allowed to touch and play with the works of art in ways forbidden to the adults, and Antony loved the menagerie of pets – the live ones and those Picasso made as sculptures that seemed alive. 

Antony’s parents were Roland Penrose, the curator and biographer of Picasso, and Lee Miller, the photographer. Famed as a Vogue fashion model in her youth, she became a Surrealist photographer in Paris, a fashion photographer in New York and a desert explorer in Egypt before being a war correspondent and a combat photographer with the US forces in Europe in WW2. Picasso painted her 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.

Suitable for age 14+ 

£12, includes a cold beverage on arrival |  Book online in advance 

The family friendly interactive theatre show based on Antony's book will visit the Herbert in November. More details.

Photo: Antony Penrose, Farleys House, Sussex, England by Tony Tree. © Courtesy Lee Miller Archives, England 2017.  All rights reserved 

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