Pablo Picasso was one of the most prodigious and revolutionary artists in the history of Western painting. Gertrude Stein was an avant-garde American writer, art collector, eccentric and self-styled genius. Her Paris home was the leading salon for artists and writers between the Wars. Picasso painted Stein's portrait and they became firm friends.
Their correspondence extends across a time of extraordinary social and political change, between 1906 and 1944, effectively from the Belle Epoque to the German Occupation of the Second World War. Both wrote in French -- a language neither ever entirely mastered.
Written as letters, cards and scribbled notes, their intimate correspondence touches lightly on both the weighty and the everyday -- holidays, money, dinner invitations, art, family, lovers, travel arrangements, how work goes, or the war.
The correspondence has been carefully edited and is presented by period, each introduced with an outline of significant personal and historical events of the time. Explanatory notes to the letters are rich in background detail. The volume also features photographs, facsimiles of postcards and letters as well as sketches, drawings and paintings by Picasso.