Books: Treasures of Art and Nature

Season's readings honor the past and celebrate the present

OVER $60

Books on Pablo Picasso have the good sense to dwell on this century's greatest artist and the misfortune of having to live up to him. Many do not. But Picasso: The Early Years (Rizzoli; 559 pages; $160) by Josep Palau i Fabre succeeds in conveying the explosive creativity of its subject. The volume's 1,587 illustrations (361 in color) provide the fullest look anyone but a diligent art historian will ever have of Picasso's formative period. He was never an apprentice. In his early...

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