portrait by Picasso
Stein, Gertrude (1874-1946). American poet, novelist, and critic. For many years a leading American expatriate in Paris, she was the subject of wide literary controversy in the 1920's. Her unique and celebrated style, which was influenced by the psychological theories of William James and by modern French painting, is characterized by the use of words for their associations and sound, rather than for their literaral meaning; an intricate system of repetition and variation on a single verbal theme; an avoidance of conventional punctuation and syntax; an emphasis on the presentation of impressions and a particular state of mind, rather than the telling of a story; and concreteness and extreme simplicity of diction, with preference for the common and monosyllabic vocabulary.
. . . Becoming interested in such artists as Picasso, Matisse, Braque, and Juan Gris, Miss Stein became both art critic and patron. . . . [She] is noted for several famous lines, notable "A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose"; she is also the originator of the phrase "the lost generation."
--- William Rose Benet, The Reader's Encyclopedia
More information on Stein can be found at
Dead Women You Should Know About -- Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein Online
Photographs of Stein and her portrait, and of Stein's salon
|Dinner at Gertrude Stein's (story quilt by Faith Ringgold) Shows Stein's salon: note Picasso's portrait of Stein; Stein is seated below it|
|Tomie dePaola's depiction of Stein and her salon in Bonjour Mr. Satie. Picasso's portrait of Stein is top left; Stein is at the extreme right (hand raised); Alice B. Toklas is immediately to her left|