This book explores the interaction between collectors, dealers and exhibitions in Pablo Picasso's entire career. The former two often played a determining role in which artworks were included in expositions as well as their availability and value in the art market.
The term collector/dealer must often be used in combination since the distinction between both is often unclear; Heinz Berggruen, for instance, identified himself primarily as a collector, although he also sold quite a few Picassos through his Paris gallery. On the whole, however, dealers bought more often than collectors; and they bought works by artists they were already involved with. While some dealers were above all professional gallery owners; most were mainly collectors who sporadically sold items from their collection.
Picasso's first known dealer was Père Manyach, whom he met as he travelled to Paris in 1900when he was only 19 years old. As his representative, Manyach went about setting up exhibitions of his works at galleries in the French capital, such as Bethe Weill's and Ambroise Vollard's. Picasso's first major exhibition took place in 1901 at Vollards. Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler and Léonce Rosenberg came in after Vollard lost interest during the Cubist period, as they had a manifest preference for the new style. Like Vollard, later dealers often preferred the more conventional Neoclassical phase in Picasso. This was the case with Léonce's brother, Paul Rosenberg.
The book is organized chronologically and discusses the interaction between Picasso's collectors, dealers and exhibitions as they take place. Once collectors acquired an artwork, their willingness to lend them to exhibitions or their necessity to submit them to auction had a direct impact on Picasso's prominence in the art world.