The circus is a dazzling world filled with acrobats and harlequins, tumblers and riders, monsters and celestial creatures. Now this engaging book sets that world in a new light, examining how painters, sculptors, and photographers from the eighteenth century to the present have used the circus as a springboard for their imaginative expression and have envisioned the clown as a metaphor for the modern artist. The book presents more than 175 works by such artists as Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Rouault, Picasso, Chagall, and Leger. Some of these are masterful works shown for the first time; these range from the 18-meter stage curtain Picasso designed in 1917 for Erik Satie's ballet Parade to more intimate works such as Nadar and Tournachon's photographs of Pierrot as played by celebrated mime Charles Debureau.
Gerard Regnier (Jean Clair), Director of the Musee Picasso, Paris, is the general editor of the catalogue.