Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas

Sir Francis Cyril Rose (1909–1979)
Gouache on paper, 1939
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Isabel Wilder

The manor house at Bilignin was picture-book France, old and full of character. Its living room walls were paneled and decorated with paintings of musical instruments; tall windows with outside shutters opened up to the terrace garden. When the English artists Cecil Beaton and Francis Rose came for a visit in the summer of 1939, they were so taken by the beauty of this room and its four occupants—Stein, Toklas, and the two dogs, Basket and Pépé—that they both made images of it. Rose’s drawing offers a genre scene of marital harmony: Toklas knitting in a wicker chair and Stein reading in her favorite rocker.