The Boy who bit Picasso

4th May 2022

Digby hall , hound street, sherborne at 3 pm and 7 pm

Images by kind permission and Copyright of Lee Miller Archives & The Penrose Collection. Image of Antony Penrose by Tony Tree.


As a child Antony Penrose first met Picasso when he visited the Penrose family home of Farley Farm Chiddingly, East Sussex in 1950. They became instant friends and invented their own boisterous game of pretend bullfights. In the excitement Antony bit Picasso who bit him right back. It did not spoil the friendship and during the many visits he made to Picasso’s homes in France, Antony felt very much at home. He loved the menagerie of pets – the live ones and those Picasso made as sculptures that seemed alive. Antony’s parents were Roland Penrose, the curator and biographer of Picasso and Lee Miller the Photographer and Antony’s mother. Picasso painted her portrait six times and she photographed him more than a thousand times. Her images illustrate Antony’s entertaining and amusing account of life around Picasso. This lecture also covers the process of writing and the design of the book which has been very favourably reviewed and is a best seller.

Antony Penrose

For the past 30 years has conserved and disseminated the work of his parents, Lee Miller and Roland Penrose. He is the director of The Lee Miller Archives and The Penrose Collection at Farley Farm House in Sussex and has seen his parents’ work featured in major exhibitions at the V&A, National Portrait Gallery, Manchester Art Gallery, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Whitworth.

He has lectured at museums and universities around the world, and made documentaries for television. Publications include The Lives of Lee Miller, Lee Miller’s War (editor), The Angel and the Fiend, The Home of the Surrealists, Roland Penrose the Friendly Surrealist and The Boy Who Bit Picasso.