Wednesday, January 25

Paragraphs from Stein, 6

"He [Picasso] was always interested in painting as a metier, an incident that happened once is characteristic. In Paris there was an American sculptress who wished to show her canvases and sculpture at the salon. She had always shown her sculpture at the salon where she was hors concours but she did not wish to show sculpture and painting at the same salon. So she asked Miss Toklas to lend her her name for the pictures. This was done. The pictures were accepted in the name of Miss Toklas, they were in the catalogue and we had this catalogue. The evening of the vernissage Picasso was at my house. I showed him the catalogue, I said to him, here is Miss Toklas who has never painted and who has had a picture accepted at the salon. Picasso went red, he said, It's not possible, she has been painting in secret for a long time, Never I tell you, I said to him. It isn't possible, he said, not possible, the painting at the salon is bad painting, but even so if any one could paint as their first painting a picture that was accepted, well then I don't understand anything about anything. Take it easy, I said to him, no she didn't paint the picture, she only lent her name. He was still a little troubled, no, he repeated, you have to know something to paint a picture, you have to, you have to."

--Gertrude Stein, "Picasso" (1938) tr. Alice B. Toklas