edith martin

10

He had heard her name often enough during the year and a half since they had last met. He was even familiar with the main incidents of her life. But he heard all these accounts with detachment, as if listening to reminiscences of someone long-dead. But the past had come again into the present, as in those newly-discovered caverns in Tuscany, where children had lit bunches of straw, and seen old images staring from the wall. He gave himself a single chance. She must turn before the sailboat crosses the lime rock light. Then, he would go to her.

Summer Picnic (1919). Theresa Bernstein (American, 1890-2002). Oil on canvas. Martin and Edith Stein Collection.

Summer Picnic depicts the artist herself, open book in hand, sitting outdoors in a voluminous white robe that’s falling off her naked shoulder and a bare-chested man holding an apple. A saccharine yet loving fusion of Cézanne and Renoir, this pastoral idyll celebrates Bernstein’s marriage to the painter and printmaker William Meyerowitz.