Art: Picasso's Private Park

Picasso seemed like the last man in the world for the job. In 1937, art dealer Ambroise Vollard was looking for someone to illustrate Buffon's classic, 18th Century Histoire Naturelle. Picasso, who once remarked that "through art we express our conception of what nature is not," had just finished his grotesque, horribly unrealistic Guernica (TIME, Nov. 18).

But Picasso's 31 illustrations, on exhibition in Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art last week, proved again his capacity for contradicting himself and making it stick. All 31 etchings (reinforced with aquatint) were reasonably naturalistic and most of them were minor masterpieces as well.

When Madame de...

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