PUBLICATION DATE 4 JUNE 2019. ARC’S AVAILABLE NOW
“A search for the truth of art’s holy grail – The Young Ladies of Avignon. The extraordinary story of how modern art came about. A remarkable novel that rebrands Picasso no less.” – Sylvia Vetta, novelist/art specialist
As the 20th century unfolds, amid massive upheaval – scientific, political and technological – an artistic revolution explodes in Paris.
Avid collector Jacques Doucet and young Pablo Picasso, from opposite sides of the tracks, have parallel struggles – but when the troubled doyen of supreme taste, haunted by his own past, buys Picasso’s most shocking painting, he creates chaos in his elegant world.
Picasso relies upon Doucet to be champion of his future legacy to the world, but this cannot be achieved without uncovering some of the artist’s darkest secrets.
When modern art was born it caused an eruption of seismic proportions. Nothing would ever be the same again. The look of the twentieth century was cast. These traumatic events are mirrored in the life of Jacques Doucet who travelled from `pillar of the establishment’ to principle patron of the radical avant-garde.
This is the remarkable story of a refined and immaculate gentleman who descends into the world of the occult, modern art at its most raw, and sexual depravity. When Doucet buys Picasso’s monumental brothel painting, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, is he ready for his final transformation?
Note: Picasso’s story is told with due regard to the published history of his life. Doucet’s story is partially fictionalised for dramatic purposes, as little is known about this period of his life. He destroyed all his papers and records before dying.
“Picasso is the rock god of the age. Multi-layered and full of surprises – Doucet’s mystery unlocked, like “the Painting” itself provides a prism of vibrant and tragic tales. Featuring many key characters of the era, Picasso’s Revenge is a cultural masterpiece.” – Claire Palmer, Editor, International Times
About the Authors
Ray Foulk renowned curator and author of French Art Deco masters and twentieth century decorative art, has also written on the 1960s counterculture and rock festivals. As an award winning environmental architect, Ray lives and works in Oxford, near his four grown up children and grandchildren.
Caroline Foulk is a playwright and teacher and has worked in partnership with her father Ray, researching, writing and co-promoting many exciting projects in art, environment and architecture. From a screenplay for the cinema about the invention of modern they have created Picasso’s Revenge together. Caroline is mother of three and partner of musician Johnny Hinkes.
The front door is still widely ajar and a policeman is walking past on his beat on the other side of the street. He hears Dora’s shouts for help.
Jacques holds Jeanne and stares at the broken china, fuming. ‘Be still. You speak of money, yet which one of us is wasting it now? You are most handsomely provided for! …’
His attention focuses momentarily upon her gold necklace, held together with a jewelled clasp in the form of an Art Nouveau peacock. Jeanne pulls away and snaps, ‘I mean every word, Jacques. It’s going!’
‘You cannot assume the authority … to drag the painting from the study – and behind my back. And … send it to l’Hôtel Drouot. Just like that!’
‘I would have set fire to it.’
‘Ridiculous?’ she shouts back. ‘You call me ridiculous? The picture is ridiculous. Everyone’s said so for years What is more, I heard the painter, that Spaniard, could never sell it – not until you came along, that is.’
‘We agreed, if we were to marry, I would keep my independent interests,’ asserts the collector.
‘You bring pictures of prostitutes into my home,’ gesturing back at the canvas, ‘and now you slight our marriage!’
‘Of course not.’
‘I should never have agreed to this match. My home’s turned into anarchy. The money’s gone. You are quite mad.’
‘It’s one of the great paintings of the era.’
‘No, not quite mad. Completely mad.’
‘It’s not even as though I’d hung it in here, in your drawing room,’ says the husband, trying to reason.
‘Why this obsession with the modern? A man of your age? To be a collector is one thing, but always … always driving everyone to distraction … Such foibles. Supporting wild and unruly youths … Surrealists do you call them? And that Jacob fellow … Now Picasso … I daren’t even turn to the daily columns anymore,’ she laments.
‘If you did, you might read about my outing this morning to advise President Doumergue on a modernist work for the Élysée Palace, in fact,’ he retorts quietly.
Jeanne’s pursed lips denote a refusal to be moved.
A bewhiskered policeman is admitted to the room by Dora. ‘Pardon me, there’s a policeman,’ advises the distressed maid. The gendarme takes a measured view of the disagreement. ‘Monsieur, madame, I regret to inform you, a disturbance has been noticed at this residence.’
‘I’ll leave my wife to answer that.’
‘I’m not staying another night,’ she responds, ‘until we’ve agreed two things. Firstly, you stop spending money that we no longer have … and more importantly, this obscenity goes!’ hitting out at the canvas as she strides out of the room. She shouts back, before slamming the door, ‘When you’ve considered what on earth is driving you, I’ll consider coming back.’ The gendarme observes the painting. ‘What in God’s name …?’