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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seeing The World Through The Eyes Of An Infant
As has been written elsewhere (Try Hemingway's A MOVEABLE FEAST, for instance) Gertrude Stein possessed a tremendous ego. She did not express opinions, she stated facts even when the basis for her facts existed only in her head. She also had the irksome habit of repeating the same information many times, often approaching it from slightly different directions...
Published on July 23, 2000 by Loren D. Morrison

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very bad writing; some good insights; Picasso paintings
From the beginning sentence, this book is poorly written; it requires great patience to finish it, despite the short length. Many sections require multiple readings simply to discern the meaning of the convoluted and awkward prose. This is not a great stylist breaking a few rules to pioneer a new style. It is bad writing, littered with run-on on sentences, comma splices,...
Published on August 12, 2010 by Douglas Groothuis


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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seeing The World Through The Eyes Of An Infant, July 23, 2000
This review is from: Picasso (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) (Paperback)
As has been written elsewhere (Try Hemingway's A MOVEABLE FEAST, for instance) Gertrude Stein possessed a tremendous ego. She did not express opinions, she stated facts even when the basis for her facts existed only in her head. She also had the irksome habit of repeating the same information many times, often approaching it from slightly different directions. Again, I am certainly not the first to comment on this peculiarity of her writing. That this book is filled with examples of both of the above does not take away from its excellence in revealing much about Picasso and his art.
Stein's fame comes more from her position in the intellectual and artistic community of early to mid twentieth century Paris than from her ability as a writer or poet. It was because of this position that she came to know Picasso so well, and it was as an outgrowth of this personal relationship that this book came to be written.
One area that I found very informative in PICASSO was Stein's analysis of the alternating influences of Picasso's Spanish soul, Paris, and Spain itself, on the various periods of Picasso's artistic development. In this respect, Stein contrasts Spain and France in the following manner: Spain was a sad country with a monotony of coloring while France was the country of Toulouse-Lautrec with vivid colors and images.
With that as a background, she introduced Picasso, as a young man in Spain, painting realistic works in the late nineteenth century manner. This was followed by his first visit to Paris during which he was influenced by the paintings of Toulouse-Lautrec. (See illustration #3, "In the Cafe") He then returned to Spain in 1902, staying until 1904. During this period, his temperament returned to that of his native Spain and he produced the darker, more somber paintings of his "blue period." This period ended with his return to Paris in 1904. Throughout the balance of PICASSO, Stein traced his painting cycles and the people and experiences that influenced them.
Picasso revealed to Stein, and she passed on to us, one of the main secrets of his later styles. He saw as a very young child saw, and painted what he saw through those infantile eyes. An infant sees what it sees from very close up and, consequently, only sees one or two of its mother's features at a time. An infant can't focus at a distance and probably couldn't recognize its own mother from across a room. That infant would probably recognize an eye or a nose, or one or two other features. That same child would probably only recognize its mother in profile, and only from one side at that, i.e., left or right profile, but not both. This was the vision that Picasso brought to his art: a recognizable eye, a nose in profile, and these not necessarily connected in any way that makes sense to the eye of an adult viewer. It was one of the geniuses of Picasso that he could utilize this vision in his art, and it was as a gift that Gertrude Stein let us in on the secret.
I have visited the Picasso museums in Barcelona and Paris, and through their displays, have traced Picasso's evolution as an artist. Neither museum was as instructive relative to Picasso's thought processes as was this small book with its many black and white illustrations. For having providing these insights, I can forgive Gertrude Stein for all her mannerisms and displays of ego.
Much more information about Picasso and the literary and artistic personages of his era can be gained by reading this book. I do recommend it.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stein and Picasso: ..., Getting Modernism: Priceless, February 14, 2003
This review is from: Picasso (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) (Paperback)
In this epochal gem originally published in London in 1938, Gertrude Stein tells of the arrival and rise of Picasso, and through him, Modernism and the 20th century, filtered through her own performance art. By "filtered" I am not suggesting that it is fiction or distorts its subject; in fact, it's a live action postcard from the epicenter of the man and movement. Not only does it inform with fact, it informs with form.
Stein says with characteristic self assurance that she alone understood Picasso and compared what he did in art to what she did with words, and there is merit in the comparison. Picasso, influenced by the Spaniards, came to believe that truth existed in the conceptual realm, it did not come from the material world. Whereas proceeding generations accepted what they saw before them as truth and responded realistically, Picasso chose to portray his inner vision on canvas and backed away from using models. Cubism became his way of signifying how he experienced the significance of the still life or human form. A person, a tableau was not perceived as the whole but as parts, some of them standing out more prominently than others. Similarly, Stein orders her information according to emphasis, with her characteristic tic of repetition--remember, this is the person who gave us lines like "A rose is a rose is a rose" and "there is no there, there."
Stein does not overindulge herself, however, and imparts a generous amount of lucid thought on how Picasso created and from what and whom he drew his influences. She progresses chronologically through his periods-the blue, the rose, the harlequin, Cubist, calligraphic, etc., up to the point she was writing. This plus salient insights into society, war, creative artists and the 20th century in general make the volume quite a deal in a small package.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brief life of Picasso by the gatekeeper of Modernism, May 18, 2000
This review is from: Picasso (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) (Paperback)
Gertrude Stein's fifty-odd page remembrance of Pablo Picasso is brief in page length only. Her convolved writing style challenges the reader to think within the context of Picasso's own creative processes. This is not a quick read, but I was struck by how Stein had her finger on the pulse of Picasso's drive and desire in painting. Her scope is concerned with the Red and Blue Periods and the start of Picasso's role in the invention of Cubism. As much of a literary challenge as it is a close reading of several important Picasso paintings, including Stein's own famous portrait.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming and brief assessment of Picasso's early work, March 22, 2008
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This review is from: Picasso (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) (Paperback)
I've been reading Richardson's Picasso biography, and he refers so frequently to the Steins that I had to buy this book. I found it absolutely charming, witty, and typical Gertrude Stein. Her prose runs in circles, and she's consistently self-focused. She views herself as a pioneering art doyenne and one of the few who truly understood the art movements in Paris in the early part of the 20th century. But her affection for Picasso is undeniable, and that's what makes this book so wonderful to read.

Picasso often felt that Gertrude in fact did *not* get what was going on with cubism and his and Braque's works. But she liked to have artistic company, Picasso liked that she bought so much of his work, so their relationship worked.

This is a quick book to read - contrary to what another review suggests - and makes for a wonderful Saturday afternoon. It helps if you know something of Picasso's history, so read this with a collection of his work on the side.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very bad writing; some good insights; Picasso paintings, August 12, 2010
This review is from: Picasso (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) (Paperback)
From the beginning sentence, this book is poorly written; it requires great patience to finish it, despite the short length. Many sections require multiple readings simply to discern the meaning of the convoluted and awkward prose. This is not a great stylist breaking a few rules to pioneer a new style. It is bad writing, littered with run-on on sentences, comma splices, neglected semicolons, one sentence paragraphs, and annoying repetition. As a professor, I was tempted to take out the red pen and correct as I went along.

Nevertheless, the author was a friend of the great and enigmatic painter, and, as such, she offers telling insights about the role of his nationality and personality in his art, particularly cubism. (The book was first published in 1938.) We read nothing of Picasso's famous libidinal exploits (for which one should be grateful) and very little about his biography. Those facts are cut to the bone; painting is what Stein addresses.

My older edition of the book (published in England in 1948) features several color prints and many black and white offerings. You will find little detailed analysis of any of these paintings, however. Stein charts Picasso's various "periods" and the development of his thought.

For one interested in Picasso and the meaning of the twentieth century (and not just its art), this slim and nearly unreadable volume discloses a few noteworthy observations about art, war, and Pablo Picasso. But how any editor ever released the book in this form is beyond this writer and teacher.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It gets up and then somewhat..., February 7, 2012
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This review is from: Picasso (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) (Paperback)
You get to the end without having learnt
nothing but her own image of Picasso.

This is a book not on Picasso,
but on Stein't image of him.

It is Art and literature and modernist prose.

Which I thank with all my heart, but:

Richardson's books have buried many books
like this where Picasso has been enthroned
like Sansom.

I want no golden calfs, but golden knowledge.
My review: buy it if you just love books more than
money, which is my case, by the way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Little Book, October 2, 2011
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This review is from: Picasso (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) (Paperback)
This is a wonderful little book. There are only about 50 pages of actual writing in this book. The rest is intro (which you can skip) and pictures. I will admit: I love Gertrude Stein's style. Of course, many do not- it can be a bit overwhelming. I believe she uses just enough of her style in this book to give it her own personal flair, but not enough to ruin it or complete take over with nonsense. It's a picasso portrayal from a different angle, but also a brief work of art of it's own. Read it in one pleasurable afternoon sitting.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Ridiculous writing, January 1, 2014
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I could not believe the poor writing, style, ridiculous repetition of the same poor or unfunded ideas.This is not a book, it reads like somebody rambling on a subject she/he may know something about while having few drinks and forgetting where it left it at times or repeating the same axioms regarding for example what it means to be a Spaniard or how Spain is or is not part of Europe, etc.
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5.0 out of 5 stars fun read, September 3, 2013
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This review is from: Picasso (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) (Paperback)
I love Stein's direct, no nonsense writing style. She provides an insider's perspective of the scene and an affectionate yet unsentimental account of Picasso's emergence into history.
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5.0 out of 5 stars was greaat (book about Picasso), December 5, 2011
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Great book. Was send in a perfect condition and on time although I live in Holland.
Next time I will buy agaian using amazon. com
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Picasso (Dover Fine Art, History of Art)
Picasso (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) by Gertrude Stein (Paperback - September 1, 1984)
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