The Easel

Archives: Perspectives

28th November 2023

Picasso on Stein

An elegant essay. Gertrude Stein’s Saturday salons attracted avant garde Paris, including Picasso. He offered to paint Stein’s portrait and 80 sittings later, it was done. Its fame rests partly on Stein’s literary reputation and her attachment to the painting. As an artwork, its mask-like face marks Picasso’s turn away from his ‘rose period’ and towards cubism. Ambitiously, Stein saw the work as embodying efforts by each of them “to kill the nineteenth century”.