The Sorcerer's Apprentice by John Richardson, author of A Life of Picasso, is a richly entertaining memoir of a life with the brilliant but controversial art expert, Douglas Cooper - a fiendish, colourful, Evelyn Waugh-like figure who single-handedly assembled the world's most important private collection of Cubist paintings. John Richardson tells the story of their ill-fated but comical association, which began in London in 1949 and moved on the Chatuau de castille, a colonnaded folly in Provence filled with masterpiecesby Picasso, Braque Leger and Juan Gris. Richardson unfurls and adventure lasting twleve years, encompassing artists and writers, collectors and the famous - Francis Bacon, Jean Conteau, Dora Maar, Peggy Guggenheim and Anthony Blunt to name but a few. Central to the book is Richardson's close friendship with Picasso, which coincided with the emergence of the artist's new mistress, Jacqueline Roque, and which gave Richardson an inside view of the repercussions she would have on Picasso's life and work. With an extraordinary eye for detail and an ear for scandal, Richardson has written a unique saga from behind the scenes of one of the richest periods in European art.