"Avigdor Arikha is one of the most independent-minded artists of our time. In 1965 at the height of a successful career as an abstract painter in Paris and New York he suddenly stopped painting to return to drawing from life in order to assuage a 'violent hunger in the eye' released by his experience of the great Caravaggio exhibition of that year. When he returned to painting in 1973 it was to begin on the series of intensely observed portraits, nudes and still lifes for which he is now known world wide. His intimate still lifes include such 'local' subjects as a bundle of asparagus, a corner of his Paris studio and the books on his library shelves. His portraits range from informal studies of his close friends the playwright Samuel Beckett and the photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson to striking portrayals of public figures, among them the former British Prime Minister Lord Home and the Queen Mother. This book, based on interviews with the artist, surveys Arikha's entire career and shows his work from the drawings he made as a child in a Nazi concentration camp to the passionately observed and beautifully composed paintings of the last five years. Arikha divides his time between Paris and Jerusalem."--Jacket.