Pavel Fyodorovitch Tchelitchew, 21 Sep 1898 - 31 Jul 1957
Gertrude Stein, 3 Feb 1874 - 27 Jul 1946
Ink on paper
Sheet: 44.8 x 29.8cm (17 5/8 x 11 3/4")
Owner: Museum of Modern Art
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While living in Paris in the 1920s, the Russian émigré painter Pavel Tchelitchew successfully courted Stein’s favor and became her protégé for several formative years of his international artistic career. This drawing is one of several he made of Stein during this period; he also made a portrait of Toklas. Stein published a word portrait of him in Dix Portraits (1930) and invited him to contribute a self-portrait to that publication, which includes illustrations by fellow neoromantics. Tchelitchew intended to execute an easel portrait of Stein, but when she introduced him to Edith Sitwell, who became a major patron, Sitwell’s numerous commissions distracted him from that project. Stein, who never paid to sit for an artist, was displeased by Tchelitchew’s divided loyalties and dropped the artist abruptly in 1929, hurting and angering him.