In 1946 the young artist Raymond Mason, having already quit his native Midlands for the Royal College of Art and later the Slade School, packed his bags for Paris, then the undisputed artistic capital of the world. There he found himself thrust into the company of some of the greatest figures of 20th-century art, from Balthus to Duchamp, Giacometti and Picasso, and, inspired by their examples, set out making his own distinctive contribution to the history of modern sculpture. In this memoir, Mason conjures up the golden age of the Parisian art world. The cultural impresarios Jean Cocteau and Andre Malraux, the dealers Claude Bernard, Aimee Maeght and Pierre Matisse, and the interactions of visiting British artists Henry Moore and Francis Bacon with the "locals" - all figure in Mason's account as he pays a by-no-means uncritical tribute to the masters of European modernism. By turns humorous and passionate, Mason also reflects on a variety of other subjects, including Parisian architecture, the development of his own oeuvre, and the work of artists from Hogarth to Rodin. Raymond Mason died in 2010.
This 2003 first edition in English is complete with an unclipped dustjacket which is a little turned at the edges and is marked on the back. The book is bound in grey cloth, embossed with a dolphin motif on the front cover and stamped with silver-coloured lettering on the spine. The corners of the boards and the top and foot of the spine are bumped but otherwise the book is handsomely bound. It also includes many black and white illustrations throughout.