John Berger on Pablo Picasso in Selected Essays of John Berger.
Above all Picasso suffers from being taken too seriously. He recognizes this himself and it is one of the ironical themes of some of his drawings. The indignant take him too seriously because they attach too much importance to the mad prices his work fetch and so assume that he — instead of his hangers-on — is a racketeer. The ostentatiously tolerant take him too seriously because they forgive him his excesses on the ground that, when he wants to be, he is a great draughtsman. In fact this is untrue. His best drawings if compared to those of Géricault, Daumier or Goya appear brilliant but not profound. Picasso’s future reputation as a great artist would not, as it is so often said, be guaranteed by his realistic works alone. The enthusiastic take him too seriously because they believe that every mark he has made, the date on which he made it and the address he happened to be living at, are of sacred significance.