This is the long autobiography, narrated in the third person under the pseudonym of Silvio, of a renowned publisher, art critic and gallerist. A slice of Parisian life seen from a particular angle, where aesthetic reasoning is mixed with anecdotes and the description, also in human terms, of the artists in their context (Kandinsky’s studio, visits to Picasso, conversations with Matisse and Alberto Magnelli, misunderstandings with De Chirico).
Gualtieri di San Lazzaro (the alias of Giuseppe Papa, 1904-1974) founded and directed the magazine «XXe Siècle» published in Paris starting in 1938. Each issue was on a different theme of contemporary art, illustrated with original graphic works by masters like Arp, Henri Laurens, Miró, Klee, Moore, Marino Marini, Magnelli and Picasso. Published by Garzanti in 1948 (Premio Bagutta Opera Prima 1949) and by Mondadori in 1966, the book has become a precious document, today, of a cultural climate and its protagonists, narrated by a direct, engaged witness.
The new edition is based on the version revised and expanded by the author himself in 1966.