“‘I was and I still am satisfied with my portrait,’
Gertrude wrote in her little book, Picasso, published shortly before WWII.
‘For me, it is I, and it is the only reproduction of me which is always I, for me.'”
“Gertrude’s long-term–and sometimes troubled– friendship with Picasso seems to have begun in the winter of 1905-06 when she traveled daily across Paris to the Rue Ravignan to sit for her portrait. She liked the long calm hours of posing while Picasso painted and Fernande read aloud the Fables of La Fontaine. After 80 or more sittings, Picasso became discouraged and painted out the face completely, leaving the picture unfinished. Months later, returned from a trip to Spain, he brushed in the features without seeing Gertrude. The result was a compelling, mask-like face. The painting survives as a perfect transitional work, joining the two of them together, marking the end of Picasso’s Rose Period and the beginnings of Cubism and the modern movement.”
– James R. Mellow,
The Stein Salon Was The First Museum of Modern Art,
published in The New York Times, Dec. 1, 1968