Gertrude Stein

di Camilla Rota e Francesca Sinagra

Nata il 3 febbraio 1874 (Allegheny, febbraio 1874 – Neuilly-dur-Seine luglio 1946) in un sobborgo della Pennsylvania da una famiglia tedesca di origine ebraica ebbe tre fratelli e una sorella. Nel 1893, dopo aver vissuto alcuni anni a Vienna e a Parigi con la famiglia, si trasferisce con il fratello Leo a Cambridge nel Massachussetts dove inizia gli studi universitari in campo scientifico. Successivamente, si sposta a Parigi con il fratello Leo, nel frattempo diventato un critico d’arte molto sofisticato.Nel settembre del 1907 incontra la compagna della sua vita Alice Toklas, dando avvio ad una delle relazioni più celebri della storia LGBTQ+.Sia Leo che Gertrude, durante la loro vita iniziano a collezionare numerose opere d’arte, creando una vera e propria raccolta di opere molto note, soprattutto di arte cubista e includendo tele di artisti quali Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Andrè Derain. Il loro studio è tappezzato da quadri all’avanguardia e diviene un vero e proprio salotto culturale in cui artisti e scrittori come Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, Thornton Wilder, Sherwood Anderson e Georges Braque si ritrovano e vengono ospitati. Questo clima così fervido di casa Stein ispira numerosi scritti e pellicole cinematografiche, tra cui “Midnight in Paris” di Woody Allen (2011). Il rapporto con Pablo Picasso fu intenso e reciproco: nel 1906 il pittore spagnolo la ritrae in uno delle sue opere più iconiche “Ritratto di Gertrude Stein” e nel 1938 la scrittrice americana compone la strepitosa “Biografia di Picasso” (riedita da Adelphi nel 1973). Gertrude Stein con la sua attività di collezionista incoraggia lo sviluppo dell’arte e della letteratura contemporanea, oltre ad aprire la strada ad alcune tematiche sociali con la sua spiccata emancipazione.

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