When Francoise Gilot, an aspiring young painter, met Pablo Picasso in May, 1943, she was twenty-one years old, he some forty years her senior. As they grew together, setting about their mutual campaigns upon each other, she proved herself a worthy adversary rather than acolyte. In the ten years which she shared with him, undertaking t o assuage his solitude, bearing him two children, meeting his friend and admirers, she maintained a cool comprehension along with her compassion for Picasso the man that shows to delightful advantage here. For Francoise Gilot has the capacity to reveal the man in his intimate and professional dealings, and Picasso is superlative, inimitable copy. Witness Picasso dangling his agents, foremost among them Kahnweller, fancing with his friends Braque and Matisse, playing cat and mouse with the women in his life -- wife Olga, Marie Therese Walter, Dora Marr, Francoise and her successor jacqueline Roque. But the author has the capacity as well to show Picasso the artist: she quotes him on painting, describes his method of work in painting, sculpture, pottery. Picasso himself is so articulate that he defies other description; au fond, art and the artist are subversive. His re-marks on art include not only his own but that of his foremost colleagues, Matisse and Braque, Miro, Legor, Chagall...All his encounters here are formed by his own formidable temperament, and recalled in satisfying detail by the woman who shared them. An intimate, vivid, above all intelligent and authentic portrait of Picasso, with its twin elements of love and art, this should sell like mad. And rightly. It's high spirited reading.