Sebastian Smee, chief art critic for the Boston Globe, has sold a book about friendship and rivalry between artists, specifically Edgard Degas and Edouard Manet, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, and Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon. The book, it was announced yesterday via Publishers Marketplace, was sold to editor David Ebershoff at Random House.
Mr. Smee, who picked up a Pulitzer Prize for his criticism in 2011 (for “his vivid and exuberant writing about art”), is already something of an expert on artist rivalries. One of his two previous books, Side by Side: Picasso v. Matisse (2002), delved into the issue of the friendship and rivalry between Picasso and Matisse and how it affected the artists’ work. So, we imagine this will be a cake walk for Mr. Smee. His other book was on Lucian Freud.
After an auction, the much buzzed-about book was sold to Mr. Ebershoff, who is Gary Shteyngart and Curtis Sittenfeld’s editor and was Norman Mailer’s editor in the last five years of his life.
Congratulations to Mr. Smee.